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Writers' Workshop faculty member Marvin Bell reads Sept. 18

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Poet Marvin Bell, Flannery O'Connor Professor of Letters at the University of Iowa, will read from and sign copies of "Ardor (The Book of the Dead Man, Vol. 2)," his new poetry collection, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in Shambaugh Auditorium of the UI Main Library. Sponsored by the UI Writers' Workshop, the reading is free and open to the public.

It will be broadcast as part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" reading series on radio stations WSUI (AM 910) in Iowa City and WOI (AM 640) in Ames.

Poet Sandra McPherson says of "Ardor," Bell's 14th book: "I find Marvin Bell's 'Dead Man' to be a vast companion, enormous in spirit, an archive as well as an immediate presence . . . a supremely accomplished work."

Reviewer Kevin Craft writes of "Ardor": "For sheer kinetic fury and delight the 'Book of the Dead Man' is irresistible."

And poet William Matthews says "The 'Dead Man' knows Blake's 'Marriage of Heaven and Hell' and Bierce's 'Devil's Dictionary.' And Beckett. He's a standup tragic, a wise guy. 'Why so whale of a jolly?' Bell's extraordinary new book asks about the 'Dead Man.' Because laughter like this is spiritual."

Bell's poetry and essays have been widely anthologized for three decades, and he is highly regarded as a reader, lecturer and teacher. He was one of a group of poets who read at the White House during the Carter administration.

Among other honors, Bell has held senior Fulbright appointments in Australia and Yugoslavia. He has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. He has received American Academy of Arts and Letters' Award in Literature.

Bell's volumes of poetry include "Iris of Creation," "A Probable Volume of Dreams" and "Stars Which See, Stars Which Do Not See."

His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Antaeus, and many other periodicals and journals.