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Release: Immediate

U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky reads at University of Iowa Sept. 10

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, a professor in the graduate writing program at Boston University, will read from his poetry at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 in Shambaugh Auditorium of the University of Iowa Main Library. Sponsored by the UI Writers' Workshop and the International Writing Program, the reading is free and open to the public.

Pinsky, author of "The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996," was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for "The Inferno of Dante" in 1995. The San Francisco Chronicle described the title poem of "The Figured Wheel" as "a mad, brilliant vortex that draws into itself gods, men, art, rags and bones, atoms and dust . . . breathtaking."

In summarizing his work Pinsky says, "I've struggled to understand history not as the long-ago doings of kings and powerful people but as a kind of force, visible and sometimes subterranean, in everything people do."

Pinsky's appointment as Poet Laureate was a decision favored by his colleagues. "It's one of the most intelligent artistic, literary, public choices that I know of," said poet Lloyd Schwartz, director of the creative writing program at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, "I can't think of anyone who is better prepared, who would be a more articulate spokesperson for poetry and for art and for humanity."

Among other honors, Pinsky has been awarded the Saxifrage Prize and the William Carlos William Prize, and his volumes of poetry include "Sadness and Happiness," "An Explanation of America" "History of my Heart" and "The Want Bone."