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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 20, 2009

Iowa Poetry Prize winners are released by the University of Iowa Press

The winners of the 2008 Iowa Poetry Prize -- "something has to happen next" by Andrew Michael Roberts and "Full Catastrophe Living" by Zach Savich -- will be available March 1, 2009, from the University of Iowa Press.

The books will be available at bookstores or directly from the UI Press by phone at 800-621-2736 or online at Customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from the Eurospan Group online at

What Roberts calls "simply a book of small poems" grew out of his obsessions with time and catastrophe and love and abandonment; what is always possible, almost attained, but lost at the last minute. When something ends or when everything ends, something else must always happen next. What will it be, and who will be there to name and love and destroy it?

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Tate commented, "Concise, always surprising, these poems take you on journeys into other worlds. They break icicles from your eyes, and say, 'look at me, you've never seen me before.'"

Roberts is the author of "Dear Wild Abandon," selected for a 2007 PSA National Chapbook Award, and "Give Up." His poems can be found in journals including Tin House, the Iowa Review, LIT, the Colorado Review and Gulf Coast.

In meditations, songs, slapstick sequences, sonnets, narratives and tightly carved fragments, Savich explores the conflicts between romance and reality, between inventing a new world and staying true to this one.

UI emeritus faculty member Marvin Bell, who was Iowa's first Poet Laureate, wrote: "The poems of Zach Savich take root in a shape-shifting amalgam of juncture and disjuncture. Their intensely wrought language pleases the mind and troubles the heart as only the genuine article can. 'Just say the feeling's been thought.' That synesthetic turn of phrase signals a remarkably talented and thoughtful search for an idiom honest to time and event. One hardly expects a first book to have such capacity, but this one does."

Savich is an alumnus of the UI Writers' Workshop and his poems and essays have appeared in venues including the Colorado Review, the Beloit Poetry Journal, jubilat, Court Green, the Denver Quarterly and the anthology "Best New Poets 2008." He is an editor at Thermos Magazine.

The Iowa Poetry Prize, open to new as well as established poets, is awarded for a book-length collection of poems written originally in English.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Allison Thomas, UI Press,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073,