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Release: Immediate

Mark Strand will give lecture April 4 and poetry reading April 5 at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa alumnus Mark Strand, former poet laureate of the United States, will give a reading and deliver a lecture on successive days at the UI. Strand's lecture, "Mixed Doubles: Comparing Morandi and Bailey, Albers and Rothko, Avedon and Bacon," will be at 2 p.m. Friday, April 4 in the Lasansky Room of the UI Museum of Art. The following day, Saturday, April 5, Strand will read from his poetry at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of the UI Becker Communications Building.

Both free events are sponsored by the UI Writers' Workshop.

Strand, who was the U.S. poet laureate 1990-91, is the author of nine collections of poems, the novel "Mr. and Mrs. Baby," and acclaimed books on realism in art, about Edward Hopper and William Bailey. He is also one of America's most highly regarded translators, especially of Raphael Alberti and Carlos Drummond de Andrade.

His work is known for precise language, the surreal and the recurring theme of absence and negation. Octavio Paz says of his work: "Mark Strand has chosen the negative path, with loss as the first step towards fullness; it is also the opening to a transparent verbal perfection. Made from fragile and changing words, the poem converts itself into the 'mirror in which pain is asleep.'"

"The restlessness of his personae," Thomas McClanahan writes in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, "and the general sense of apprehension and foreboding form the dark backdrop for all Strand's writing."

Robert Penn Warren said upon publication of the collection "Darker": "The moment is always exciting when a true poet finds the secret self that is the wellspring of his inspiration. Now, with 'Darker,' Mark Strand finds that moment."

Strand is a former faculty member of the Writers' Workshop, from which he also received a master's degree. He is the recipient of honors and awards that include two Fulbright awards, three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He is currently a professor of English at the University of Utah