CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 1, 2001
Faculty poets from UI Writers' Workshop present joint reading Nov. 14
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Poets on the faculty of the University of Iowa Writers'
Workshop -- Iowa Poet Laureate Marvin Bell, James Galvin, Calvin Bedient and
Mark Levine -- will read from their work at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14 in
Room 101 of Biology Building East on the UI campus. The free reading is presented
by the Writers' Workshop.
Bell, who is also an alumnus of the Writers' Workshop, became Iowa's first
poet laureate last year. Described as "a maverick" and "an
insider who thinks like an outsider," is the author of 17 books of poetry
and essays, most recently "Nightworks: Poems 1962-2000."
A Booklist review of "Nightworks" described Bell as a "master
of plain but finely crafted and resonant language." He is Flannery O'Conner
Professor of Letters at the UI.
Galvin's poetry collections "Lethal Frequencies," "Elements,"
"God's Mistress" and "Imaginary Timber" were re-published
in 1997 in "Resurrection Update: New and Collected Poems." A UI
alumnus, he is also the author of the acclaimed non-fiction work "The
Meadow," about the people and land of high country Wyoming, and the novel
"Fencing the Sky."
Critic Donna Seaman wrote, "Galvin sets the transcendentalism of Thoreau
to the music of the lonely, magnificent, and taunting expanses of the West,
where scouring winds shred all pretense and frivolity, leaving only that which
endures behind, and it is these stones, these bones, these burnished bits
of hoarded wisdom that Galvin has been quietly celebrating over the course
of two decades of writing
Galvin's deeply respectful poetry reflects
the lessons of sky and mountain, winter and spring, river and grass."
Bedient was well established as a literary critic before he published his
first volume of poetry, "Candy Necklace," in 1997. Carol Muske reviewed
the book in the New York Times Book Review: "'Candy Necklace' is a remarkable
first volume of poems by the literary critic Cal Bedient, stringing surprise
after surprise on a flashing line of poetic argument. Bedient's sparkling
syntactical linkages can be admired like spun-sugar jewels that glitter and
catch the eye--but they also sustain the hungry imagination."
Bedient's other books include "In the Heart's Last Kingdom: Robert
Penn Warren's Major Poetry," "Architects of the self: George Eliot,
D.H. Lawrence and E.M. Forster," "He Do the Police in Different
Voices: The Waste Land and Its Protagonist" and "Eight Contemporary
Poets: Charles Tomlinson, Donald Davie, R.S. Thomas, Phillip Larkin, Ted Hughes,
Thomas Kinsella, Stevie Smith, W.S. Graham."
Levine's growing reputation rests on two volumes of poetry, "Debt"
and "Enola Gay," which was published last year. Jorie Graham selected
"Debt" for publication in the National Poetry Series in 1993. Levine
has also received a Whiting Writers Award and a fellowship from the National
Endowment of the Arts.
A Kirkus Reviews critique of "Enola Gay" observed, "As a
frequent contributor to the New Yorker and Outside, he has reported on environmental,
social, and cultural concerns. Early on in this work, Levine presents several
interesting excursions into the nebulous time of the 'Great War,' when disease
and disaster have ravaged the land and the gods were otherwise engaged 'pondering
the sky from which they long ago fell.' One is reminded of the dreamlike,
post-apocalyptic world of Walter Van Tilburg Clark's short story 'The Portable
Phonograph': Levine certainly seems to share Clark's conviction that mankind
is fated to self-destruction and that, in a spiritual sense, it has already