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Release: Sept. 13, 2002

PRAIRIE LIGHTS SERIES FEATURES UI ALUMNI DAY, NUTTER AND EMERSON

Photo: Geffrey Nutter

“Live from Prairie Lights,” the series of free readings broadcast on University of Iowa public radio station WSUI, AM 910, will present a reading each evening, Sept. 23-27. The readings, hosted by Julie Englander at 8 p.m. in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City, can be heard on the internet at http://wsui.uiowa.edu :

-- George Singleton will read from his new collection of stories, “The Half-Mammals of Dixi,” at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23;

-- Arthur Bradford will read from his debut short-sto ry collection, “Dogwalker,” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24;

-- Bonnie Jo Campbell will read from her first novel, “Q Road,” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25;

-- Poets Cort Day and Geffrey Nutter, graduates of the UI Writers’ Workshop, will read from their debut volumes at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26; and

-- UI alumna Jocelyn Emerson will return to read from her new poetry volume, “Sea Gate,” at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27.

Singleton is the author of “These People Are Us,” and his new book has been called “a zany new collection of short stories that captures the entertaining lives of such characters as the boy whose reputation is ruined forever after he stars in a documentary on diagnosing head lice, a self-described primitive artist who is mistaken for a faith healer, and a lovelorn father who woos his child's third-grade teacher.” Keir Graff wrote for Booklist, “To some readers, the mere threat of 15 stories about lovable southern eccentrics is enough to prompt a quick retreat north. Fortunately, Singleton's quick wit, keen intelligence, and empathy for his characters mean we can issue an ‘all clear’ rather than a hurricane warning. . . This fine collection reveals an author who, despite his penchant for evolution, has a gift for the act of creation.”

Bradford has been an O. Henry Award winner, and his collection is a dozen tales that capture the lives and fortunes of some of society’s colorful misfits and mutants, including a giant slug that wreaks marital havoc, three-legged dogs, and an unusual family of former circus freaks who look like cats. Zadie Smith wrote, “Arthur Bradford’s stories are quite simply the mutt’s nuts. One of the funniest, smartest and tallest writers at work in America today.” A Booklist preview concluded, “Bradford yields hilarious results, although never at the expense of his characters.”

Campbell’s short-story collection “Women and Other Animals” won a Pushcart Prize. A Publishers Weekly preview called her new book a “thoughtful, well-paced, deeply moral (though not moralizing) novel full of hard lessons and the wisdom gained from them across generations."

Day’s debut volume is “The Chime,” and Nutter’s “A Summer Evening” was selected by Jorie Graham as the winner of the 2001 Colorado Prize. Graham, a former UI Writers’ Workshop faculty member, wrote, “‘A Summer Evening’ urgently and beautifully explores conflicting circular and linear sensations of time.” Day’s poems have appeared in Poetry Daily, AGNI, the Boston Review, the Colorado Review, the Denver Quarterly, Fence, Verse and many other publications.

Emerson’s “Sea Gate” is the winner of the New York/New England Award from Alice James Books. Poet Bin Ramke wrote of the book, “Reasserting a dialogue between truth and beauty, Jocelyn Emerson has given us renewed grandeur and consolation.”

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.