CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Iowa Poetry Prize winners announced
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three accomplished poets are winners of the Iowa
Poetry Prize, an annual honor awarded by the University of Iowa Press.
Cole Swensen, director of the University of Denver's creative writing
program, penned "Try," a collection of poetry that explores the
intersection of writing with the visual arts, particularly medieval and
early Renaissance paintings. Swensen is the author of five collections
of poems, including "Noon," which won a New American Writing
Bin Ramke, editor of the "Denver Quarterly," also teaches
at the university's creative writing program. His award-winning collection
"Wake" uses the recurring elements of birds and boyhood, betrayal
and longings that careen between flesh and faith. He has written five collections
of poetry which includes "Massacre of the Innocents," published
by the UI Press in 1995.
Kathleen Peirce, a master of fine arts teacher at Southwest Texas State,
won this year's prize with "The Oval Hour," where she addresses
the vulnerability of language. Central to the book is its series of "Confessions,"
20 formally similar poems that contend with the "Confessions of Saint
Augustine." Peirce's first book, "Mercy" won the Associated
Writing Programs Award for poetry in 1990.
Typically the UI Press awards two prizes of $1,000 each plus publication
for poetry manuscripts. In response to the unusually high quality of submissions
this year, the judges selected three poets for the prestigious national
The three poets' works will be published next spring by the UI Press.
To request a review copy, call Tom Olofson at (319) 335-2008 or e-mail,