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Release: Aug. 22, 2002

Iowa Poets Will Read Work Of Jane Cooper Sept. 5

Iowa Poet Laureate Marvin Bell of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop faculty will be joined by UI-alumni poets Robert Dana, James McKean and Claire Rossini for a reading of poems by UI alumna Jane Cooper (left) at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, in the Prairie Lights Bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading is part of the “Live From Prairie Lights” broadcast series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM, hosted by Julie Englander. Listen on the internet at http://wsui.uiowa.edu .

Cooper, a former State Poet of New York and an emeritus faculty member of Sarah Lawrence College, is the author of “Flashboat: Poems Collected and Reclaimed,” which was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; “Calling Me From Sleep: New and Selected Poems”; “Scaffolding: Selected Poems”; “Maps and Windows”; “The Weather of Six Mornings,” which was the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets; and “Green Notebook, Winter Road.”

Her works as an editor include “The Sanity of Earth and Grass: Complete Poems of Robert Winner” and “Extended Outlooks: The Iowa Review Collection of Contemporary Women Writers.”

Cooper received her master’s degree in 1954 from the UI, where she studied with Robert Lowell and John Berryman.

She has received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Shelley Memorial Award, and fellowships from the Bunting Institute, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Cooper has said of her work, “Poetry is a way of giving people more life, a more vivid awareness of the exact moment they are living through -- first a sensuous awareness, then a historical one. What else can so clearly tell us who we are, while telling us more than we knew? The true poem is almost without signature. It is a living experience in which we, poet and reader, participate together. A partnership. A means of practicing freedom.”

Rossini, who organized the reading, is a faculty member at Trinity College in Connecticut, and McKean teaches at Mt. Mercy College. Dana is an emeritus faculty member of Cornell College.

For UI arts information, visit www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu.