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Release: Feb. 22, 2000

Reading by Joy Williams, Susan Wheeler, Simon Armitage will be March 1

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fiction writer Joy Williams and poets Susan Wheeler and Simon Armitage will read at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 1 at Shambaugh Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. All three readers are currently visiting professors with the UI Writers' Workshop. Their reading is free and open to the public.

Joy Williams, a graduate of the UI Writers' Workshop, is the author of four novels: the National Book Award-nominated "State of Grace," "The Changeling," "Breaking and Entering," and the forthcoming "The Quick and the Dead." She has also written two collections of short stories.

Her stories, essays and articles have been published in a number of magazines and journals, including Esquire, the Paris Review and The New Yorker. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in many writing anthologies. She has a special interest in environmental issues.

Williams has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has taught writing at the graduate and undergraduate level at universities around the country.

Wheeler's most recent book, "Smokes," published in 1998, was the winner of the Four Way Books Poetry Award, selected by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass.

In the afterword, Hass writes, "'Smokes' contains elegies, poems of urban and domestic angst, laments, invectives, cakewalks, struts. It's very much of the moment but it is also a deeply literary book -- how could it not be? And its confident, rueful, and playful grasp of its tradition is eye-opening, and, sardonic as it is, boisterous fun."

Wheeler has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. Her first collection, "Bag 'O' Diamonds," was chosen by James Tate to receive the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America.

In 1999, Armitage published "Killing Time," his ninth book of poetry. He was born in West Yorkshire, England. In 1992, he was a winner of one of the first Forward Prizes, and a year later was the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. In 1994, he received a major Lannan Award. He works as a freelance writer and broadcaster, has written extensively for radio and television, and teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

In 1999, the Poetry Society appointed Armitage poet-in-residence with the New Millennium Experience Company, which commissioned the writing of a 1,000-line poem. "Killing Time" is the result of that commission. Broadcast in England on New Year's Day, 2000, "Killing Time" is also a full-length film.