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Release: Immediate

Iowa Poetry Prize winner McKean reads July 9 at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Poet and essayist James McKean, a past winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, will read from his work at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 9 in Shambaugh Auditorium of the University of Iowa Main Library.

McKean, who is an associate professor of English at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, will read as part of the weekly reading series of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

A graduate of the UI Writers' Workshop, McKean has won several awards for his poetry, including a 1994 Iowa Poetry Prize from the UI Press for the collection, "Tree of Heaven." His first collection, "Headlong," received the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award.

McKean's poetry has also appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner and The Atlantic Monthly and other magazines.

McKean, who holds a doctorate from the UI, is teaching a one-week workshop on poetry writing July 13-18, and a one-week workshop on memoir writing July 20-25, during the Summer Writing Festival.

The Festival, which has grown from nine classes in 1987 to 128 workshops this year, annually attracts more than 1,000 people from all 50 states and several foreign countries. Participants take weekend and week-long classes under the direction of established writers, learning to hone their skills and explore new ideas in writing.

Nationally known authors, including many with UI and Iowa connections, are featured among the program's 62 teachers.

Registration and fees are required to participate in writing workshops. For more information about registering, call (319) 335-2534. Information is also available at the program's world wide web site,