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UI Writers' Workshop poets celebrate human rights declaration in Nov. 20 reading

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Marvin Bell, Donald Justice, Jorie Graham, James Galvin, Lynn Heijinian and Carl Phillips, poets on the faculty of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will present a reading in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, in Shambaugh Auditorium of the UI Main Library. Sponsored by the UI Writers' Workshop and "Global Focus: Human Rights '98," the reading is free and open to the public.

"Human Rights and Human Wrongs: a Poetry Reading by the Faculty of the Writers' Workshop celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights" will feature readings from 1,000 years of poetry in the English language.

Bell, the Flannery O'Connor Professor of Letters at the UI, has held senior Fulbright appointments in Australia and Yugoslavia. His awards include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Award in Literature. His volumes of poetry include "Iris of Creation," "A Probable Volume of Dreams" and "Ardor (The Book of the Dead Man, Vol. 2)."

Bell wrote a poem specifically for the "Global Focus" celebration that has been published worldwide.

J.D. McClatchy writes of Phillips' latest book, "From the Devotions," that "Carl Phillips has done what few of his contemporaries have dared or managed with as much elegant authority. History is held and pondered. Violence shimmers, desires are silhouetted against the light of love and death. His tone is at once erotic and mystical, hushed and compelling." Phillips is the author of two other books of poetry, "In the Blood," which won the Morse Poetry Prize, and "Cortege," a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Hejinian is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including "A Mask of Motion," "Writing is an Aid to Memory," "My Life," "The Cell" and "The Cold of Poetry." She has also published "Description" and "Xenia," two volumes of her translations from the work of the contemporary Russian poet Arkadii Dragomoshchenko. Hejinian is the co-editor and publisher, with Barrett Watten, of Poetics Journal. She is a member of the Poetics Faculty at New College of California, and a lecturer in the University of California-Berkeley's Department of English.

Galvin's books include the prose masterpiece "The Meadow" and the poetry collections "Lethal Frequencies," "Elements," "God's Mistress" and "Imaginary Timber." His work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Nation, The Georgia Review, the Atlantic, Antaeus, the Paris Review and others. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Foundation grant, the Ingram-Merrill grant, and the Academy of American Poets Prize.

Graham received the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for "The Dream of the Unified Field: New and Selected Poems." Her honors include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Whiting Foundation Award, the Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the American Academy of Poets Prize, the Connors Prize from the Paris Review, A National Book Critics Circle Award nomination, three Pushcart Prizes and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute, the Ingram-Merrill foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

A Writers' Workshop emeritus faculty member, Justice has published more than a half dozen books of poetry, short fiction and a memoir, along the way collecting a Lamont Poetry Selection, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry, the Inez Boulton Prize from Poetry Magazine, nominations for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, in addition to the Pulitzer Prize.

"Global Focus: Human Rights '98" is a cross-disciplinary program of teaching, research and action of the UI and its surrounding communities designed to address the problems and prospects of human rights as the 21st century approaches. The program features distinguished speakers, scholarly lectures, panel discussions, published research, curricular innovations, community forums, radio broadcasts, artistic displays, theatrical events, films and musical offerings.

Global Focus has included visits by Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng; human rights lawyer Jerome Shestack, president of the American Bar Association; Cambodian "Killing Fields" photographer Dith Pran; and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. For more information, visit the Global Focus website at <>