CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
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Release: March 21, 2002
Harvey and Richards return to Iowa City for April 3 reading
poets who graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop -- Matthea Harvey and
Peter Richards -- will return to Iowa City to read from their work at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, April 3, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. The
free reading during National Poetry Month will be broadcast on the Live from
Prairie Lights series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910. Listen
on the Internet at http://wsui.uiowa.edu/.
who teaches at Tufts University, is the author of "Oubliette," published
last year. His poems have also appeared in Fence, the Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares,
the Yale Review and other journals. His honors include an Iowa Arts Fellowship,
The John Logan Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and a Massachusetts
Cultural Council Artist Grant in Poetry.
Publishers Weekly review put his poetry in the context of a previous generation:
"Richards's slippery, fractional meditations recall by turns Charles
Simic, Mark Levine and Mark Strand; he explores the domestic and the exceptional,
the narcissistic and the ecological."
Croatian poet Tomaz Salamun wrote, "It is inscrutable how Peter Richards
produces this religious magma and bathes himself and us in it." And Steve
Healey wrote in City Pages, "compelling human sound pervades ‘Oubliette’
in pages of brief, shimmering lyrics. At times they read like tiny philosophies
whose syllogistic tidiness is jarred by frighteningly emotional undercurrents."
has called her work “big poems filled with tiny things” and Ruth
E. C. Prince, writing in the Radcliffe Quarterly, described Harvey’s
poems as “dioramas filled with intricately fashioned and exotic subjects.”
her debut collection, "Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human
Form," critic Matthew Thorburn wrote, "Sitting here trying to sum
up in a few pages the experience of reading a book that repeatedly raised
my eyebrows and left me grinning, that had me racing ahead to see what's next
and, just as often, doubling back to reread what I'd just read, I'm filled
with the pleasurable frustration of trying to describe several kinds of joy
I can't quite pin names to. I’m still too close to this book to step
back for the big picture summation.”
best I can manage now-- the most I want to manage, really, by way of appraisal--is
a handful of snapshots, some close-ups of a few of the particular moves and
moments that come together to make Matthea Harvey's Pity the Bathtub Its Forced
Embrace of the Human Form' such a strong, assured debut collection."
Writers' Workshop faculty member Dean Young
commented, "Matthea Harvey's poems are marvelous contraptions. They explore
and present artifices in the best sense, as disclosures of fabrication into
plays of significance, demonstrating along the way innovative and resourceful
poetic syntaxes. Fun, sharp, rangy, sometimes barbed and always ravishingly
complex, again and again this book astonishes me the way I am astonished by
jeweled clockworks, siege machinery, the musculature of the shark and hummingbird."
is managing editor for American Letters & Commentary and a poetry editor
for Boston Review.
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