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University of Iowa News Release

July 3, 2003

Photo (from left): The covers of the books Destiny Ours by William Duffy Jr., Nightworks by Marvin Bell and Prague by Arthur Phillips; poet Michael Carey.

'Live From Prairie Lights' Features Iowa Poet Laureate Marvin Bell

"Live from Prairie Lights," the series of broadcast readings hosted by Julie Englander on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910, will feature UI Writers' Workshop faculty member Marvin Bell, Iowa's Poet Laureate, during its July 14-17 schedule:

--Cedar Rapidian William Duffy Jr., reading from his father's war stories in "Destiny Ours" at 8 p.m. Monday, July 14.
--Bell at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 15.
--Arthur Phillips reading from his new novel, "Prague," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 16.
--Iowa's "farmer poet," Michael Carey, reading from the new collection, "Holy Ground," at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 17.

All the readings will be free events in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen to the readings on the Internet at http://wsui.uiowa.edu.

Duffy promised that he would write down the harrowing tale of his late father's experiences in World War II. Bob Dole called the result, "a wonderful story of faith, courage, survival and a welcome addition to the history of the Greatest Generation."

Captain Duffy was the first man to drop a bomb on Japan from a B-29, and he survived in the jungle after he was forced to bail out over Malaysia.

Marvin Bell will read from his work both old and new, including selections from "Nightworks: Poems 1962-2000.

A critique in the Georgia Review stated, "'Nightworks' reminds us just how distinctive Marvin Bell's voice has been all along -- how prophetic, how candid, how rigorously philosophical."

Bell, who is in his second term as Iowa's Poet Laureate, has been called "a maverick" and "an insider who thinks like an outsider." He is the author of nearly 20 books of poetry and essays.

He has received the Lamont Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and Senior Fulbright appointments to Yugoslavia and Australia. "Stars Which See, Stars Which Do Not See" was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1977.

Last fall, Bell led a 10-day Urban Teachers Workshop for the after-school program America Scores, and he recently returned from a West Coast tour with Stephen King, Dave Barry, Amy Tan and other prominent writers to raise funds for the program.

Pagan Kennedy called Arthur Phillips' "Prague," the story of '90s American expatriate questers, "A hip-hop remix of Fitzgerald and Hemingway, a meditation on a generation, a polemic, a love story, a new branch of sociology," and a Newsweek review recommended, "Stop yearning for that elegant, entertaining novel that used to be. Thanks to Phillips, it's right here, right now."

A Publisher's Weekly preview observed, "Everything about this dazzling first novel is utterly original, including the title: it's about a group of young American (and one Canadian) expatriates living in Budapest in 1990, just after the Communist empire has collapsed, and the point of 'Prague' is that it's the place everyone would rather be, except they have all somehow settled for Budapest as second best to their idealized Central European city... His writing is swift, often poetic, unerringly exact with voices and subtle details of time, place and weather. This novel is so complete a distillation of its theme and characters that it leaves a reader wondering how on earth Phillips can follow it up."

Michael Carey, back at his alma mater to teach in the UI Summer Writing Festival, is the author of "The Noise the Earth Makes," "Honest Effort," "Nishnabotna," "Carpenter of Song" and "Poetry: Starting from Scratch. He also edited "Voices on the Landscape: Contemporary Iowa Poets."

His life and work have been featured by the Wall Street Journal, Time, the Associated Press, Christian Science Monitor Television and Iowa Public Television's "Living in Iowa," "Touchstone" and "Studio III Presents" programs. Carey is the co-founder and editor of Loess Hills Books, a fine-arts subsidiary of Mid-Prairie Books, and the host for "Voices from the Prairie," a radio show highlighting Iowa writers produced by Iowa Public Radio and syndicated throughout the state.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu.