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Release: March 23,2000

UI Press title, 'The Oval Hour,' wins national Poetry Society award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- "The Oval Hour," a collection of poetry by Kathleen Peirce and published by the University of Iowa Press last March, was recently awarded the 1999 William Carlos Williams Award by the Poetry Society of America.

"The Oval Hour" is also one of five finalists in the poetry category of the 1999 "Los Angeles Times" Book Prizes, says Megan Scott, publicist, UI Press. Winners of that award will be announced April 29 in Los Angeles.

The "Boston Review" in a commentary on the book said "'The Oval Hour' does not sound like anything else written today." The 84-page collection speaks to the vulnerability of language, particularly when we are most sensitive to states of loss and desire.

Peirce received a master of fine arts degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1988 and is now a master of fine arts professor at Southwest Texas State University. She earned the Associated Writing Programs Award for her first book of poetry, "Mercy," and she's the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award given in 1993.

"The Oval Hour" ($10.95 ISBN 0-87745-664-X) is available at bookstores or directly from the University of Iowa Press at 1-800-621-2736 or online at For more information or to request a review copy, contact Megan Scott, (319) 335-2008 or