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Writer: Jenny Burman
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

Poet Jorie Graham will give reading April 24

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jorie Graham, one of this nation's major poets, will read from her most recent work at 8 p.m., Friday, April 24 at Shambaugh Auditorium of the University of Iowa Main Library. The reading, which is sponsored by the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Prairie Lights Books, is free and open to the public.

Graham is a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets Prize and many other honors.

Graham is described as a writer of complex philosophical verse in which she explores relationships between mind and body, flesh and spirit, and imagination and reality.

She is the author most recently of the collection "The Errancy" as well as collections that include "The Dream of the Unified Field," which won the Pulitzer Prize, "Materialism," "Region of Unlikeness," "The End of Beauty" and "Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts."

Critic Dave Smith writes: "Jorie Graham's "Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts" is not for the inattentive nor the faint-hearted reader. Hers is an intricately shaped poetry that is as given to decorum as to discipline. . . . Most remarkable about Jorie Graham perhaps are her sustained control and a music not like anyone's among us; the creation of a voice we seldom mistrust."

Helen Vendler writes of Graham's collection "The End of Beauty": "The sheer freedom invoked by Graham's poetry is liberating. . . . Graham's lines mimic the fertile ruses of the mind -- exploratory rush and decisive interruption, interrogatory speech and intermittent silence. . . . Graham, like other philosophical poets, reminds us that human beings have, in addition to an erotic, domestic and ethical life, a life of speculative thought."

The New York Times Book Review asserts that Graham "develops a genius for apprehending and scrutinizing human perceptions, reflections and desires. . . . Graham's poetry is among the most sensuously embodied and imaginative writing we have."

The Times Literary Supplement concludes: "(Graham is) one of the best and most intelligent poets in the language. . . . She is like no one else, neither in her rhythms nor in her insistence on opening up, scrutinizing and even reversing our experience of time and space."

Graham's poetry has been widely anthologized. Her poems have appeared in publications that include The New Yorker, the Paris Review, Grand Street, the New York Review of Books, the Harvard Review, Ploughshares and Antaeus.