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Release: Immediate

Poets Gillian Conoley and August Kleinzahler will read at UI Oct. 21

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Poets Gillian Conoley and August Kleinzahler, visiting faculty members in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will present a joint reading of their work at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, in Shambaugh Auditorium of the UI Main Library. The reading, sponsored by the Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

Conoley and Kleinzahler have earned reputations as poets whose voices stand out in the American literary landscape as fresh and daring, reflecting American popular culture.

The late Allen Ginsberg said, "August Kleinzahler is always precise, concrete, intelligent and rare -- (his work has) that quality of 'chiseled' verse memorable in Basil Bunting's and Ezra Pound's work. A loner, a genius."

The Economist, reviewing Kleinzahler's poetry, said: "High and low vocabularies hang out together. . . . (Kleinzahler's poems) take us back to Walt Whitman and his inventive recklessness with words. They are expansive, energetic and, from time to time, a touch crazed: an authentically American voice."

Kleinzahler is the author of five collections of poetry, the most recent being "Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow." His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Harper's, Grand Street, the Threepenny Review, Epoch, Best American Poetry and many other publications.

His honors and awards include a Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award for Poetry and the Pushcart Prize. His collection "Earthquake Weather" was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Conoley is the author of four poetry collections, including the highly praised "Some Gangster Pain" and "Tall Stranger."

The American Book Review says of Conoley's poetry: "Even above the powerfully inventive language and clear, compressed style is a poetic vision that seems utterly transforming. These are poems born of Flannery O'Connor's short stories, with their oddball grace, their undeniable redemption. Combined with Gillian Conoley's dark humor are an eye for detail and a sensibility that are mysteriously compelling. Her characters discover the power of the transforming image and in so doing create an inner life that is rich, surprising, transcendent. It is this odd hopefulness, this recourse to the imagination which transforms the landscape of ordinary lives and longing into something rare, mysterious and dangerous that are Conoley's special talent."

Conoley's poetry has appeared in the American Poetry Review, the Kenyon Review, Ironwood, Zyzzyva, Ploughshares, the Denver Quarterly, the Missouri Review and other publications.

Her honors and awards include four Pushcart Prize publications, the Academy of American Poets Award, a fellowship from the Washington State Arts Commission, residency at the MacDowell Colony and a grant from Northwest Institute for Advanced Study.

Conoley's work has been anthologized in "Best American Poetry," "Poets of the Northwest," "The Carnegie-Mellon Anthology of Poetry," "American Poetry Annual" and "Jazz Poetry Anthology."

Conoley has taught literature and poetry at several universities. She also has worked as a curator, a literary editor and a professional journalist.