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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 22, 2012

Live UI literary streams feature Writers' Workshop alumnus Short

Poet and lawyer Spencer Short, an alumnus of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will be joined by poet Jonathan Wells in a free reading at 7 p.m. Monday, March 5, in Prairie Lights Books at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading will be streamed live on the UI website Also reading that week will be novelist Lisa See at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 8.

Short's debut, Tremolo, was a winner in the National Poetry Series, selected by U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, who commented, "What a treat to listen to this new voice with its nutty intelligence and its strange authority.”

Writers' Workshop faculty member Mark Levine wrote, “These are buoyant, agile, and often frightened poems -- poems that would like to outsmart themselves but -- poignantly, thankfully -- cannot.”

Wells' debut poetry collection, Train Dance -- inspired by the rhythms of a New York City commute -- was released in 2011 to rave reviews.  His work as poet and editor has appeared previously in The New Yorker, the Paris Review Daily, Poetry International, Hayden’s Ferry, the Alaska Quarterly Review, and many other publications.

He edited MTV’s Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll, which was published in 2007. A runner up in the 2009 Robert Dana Prize for Poetry, his poems have been included in the anthology Conversation Pieces: poems that talk to other poems.

See's meticulously research new historical novel, Dreams of Joy, returns to the story of sisters Pearl and May from her Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed 19-year-old daughter, Joy, who throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the regime.

A Los Angeles Times review called the book, "Astonishing . . . one of those hard-to-put-down-until-four-in-the-morning books . . . a story with characters who enter a reader’s life, take up residence, and illuminate the myriad decisions and stories that make up human history.”

See is also the author of Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year.
The Iowa Writers' Workshop is an academic unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Graduate College.

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, University News Services,