CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 4, 2002
PRAIRIE LIGHTS READINGS OCT. 14-17 INCLUDE RETURN OF POET WEISSBORT
Daniel Weissbort, a University of Iowa emeritus professor who directed the
Translation Workshop, will return to read from his newly published Letters
to Ted at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at
15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.
The other readings at Prairie Lights that week will be broadcast on the Live
from Prairie Lights series hosted by Julie Englander on UI radio station
WSUI, AM 910. These readings can be heard on the internet at http://wsui.uiowa.edu
-- Wyoming writer Mark Spragg reading from Fruit of Stone at
8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14;
-- fiction writer Michael Faber at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, following Weissborts
-- Cuban fiction writer Antonio Jose Ponte, in residence with the UI International
Writing Program, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16; and
-- a Harvest Lecture Prairie Poets event at 8 p.m. Oct. 17, featuring
Robert Dana reading from Paul Engle, the Cedar Rapids native who led the Writers
Workshop to prominence and co-founded the International Writing Program; Denise
Low reading from UI alumnus and Pulitzer Prize winner William Stafford; and
Scott Cawelti reading from farmer poet James Hearst, whose definitive
collection was published by the UI Press.
Letters to Ted reflects Weissborts friendship with British
Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, who was the husband of Sylvia Plath. Weissbort met
Hughes early in his studies at Cambridge University, and in 1965 they founded
the journal Modern Poetry in Translation. Hughes died in 1998.
In addition to his work at the UI, Weissbort has been advisory director of
English Poetry International in London, and he was a member of the PEN American
Center Translation Committee.
Weissbort is widely known for his translations and anthologies of Russian
and East European poetry, and his volumes of original work include The
Leaseholder, In an emergency, Soundings, Fathers,
Inscription and Lake -- New and Selected Poems. Hughes
said of Weissborts work, Its hard to imagine how anything
could be more natural, relaxed and true to the writers self, true to
his secret, personal life, than Daniel Weissborts poems.
Mark Spraggs first novel, Fruit of Stone, is a ranch-land
love triangle about which critic Bill Ott wrote, Nothing happens as
we expect it to happen, but every note Spragg hits seems right
Spraggs screenplay Everything That Rises, was produced
on TNT cable in 1998, and his essay collection Where Rivers Change Direction
won the 1999 Mountain and Plains Booksellers Award. Spragg has also edited
a Sierra Club anthology, Thunder of the Mustangs.
Antonio Jose Ponte studied at the University of Havana, worked as an engineer
and then as a screenwriter. He has published prize-winning collections of
poetry and essays and a book of short fiction in English translation, In
the Cold of the Malecon and other Stories. A second collection, Tales
from the Cuban Empire, will appear this fall. Ponte is participating
in the IWP courtesy of the William B. Quarton International Writing Program
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