WRITER: ALEX CAREY
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 13, 2001
International Writing Program's Merrill will read April
Christopher Merrill, director of the University of
Iowa International Writing Program, will read from his work at 8 p.m. Thursday,
April 26 at the Prairie Lights Bookstore in downtown Iowa City. The reading
-- which is part of the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on UI
radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.
Merrill will read from "Only the Nails Remain,"
his prose account of the Balkan Wars, and "Brilliant Water," his
new collection of poems.
Merrill was honored as the 2001 recipient of the Annual
Literary Award of the Writers Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He traveled
to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo several times during the three-and-a-half-year
siege of the city, researching "Only the Nails Remain."
A starred review in Publishers Weekly stated,
"this book might very well become a modern classic about what once again
seems a painful and incomprehensible corner of Europe." National Book
Award winner and UI Writers Workshop graduate Bob Shacochis wrote, "Theres
no finer, more eloquent book written about the Balkans -- its literature and
cultures, its blood-soaked history and deluded politics, and certainly its
fascinating people -- than Christopher Merrills Only The Nails
Merrill said of "Brilliant Water," his fourth
book of poetry, "I hope it is an amplification and an extension of what
Ive done in my previous books."
Merrill received the Peter I.B. Lavan Award from the
Academy of American Poets for his collection "Watch Fire." He also
has translated four books and completed three volumes of
non-fiction. He said his experiences in the Balkans, which led to the book,
also inspired his poetry. Throughout his career Merrill has split time between
the writing of prose and the writing of poetry.
"I was always writing prose from the very beginning,"
Merrill said. "Ideally they feed each other."
Merrill is in his first year as director of the IWP.
He formerly taught at Holy Cross, where he created an international reading
series and an annual Literary Octoberfest. He also founded and became director
of the Santa Fe Literary Center in New Mexico, and he served as director of
both the Santa Fe Writers Conference and the Taos Conference on Writing
and the Natural World.
Merrills poetry, fiction, essays, articles and
translations have appeared in numerous books, magazines and literary journals.
For more information on this reading, call the Prairie
Lights bookstore at (319) 337-2681. For UI arts information, visit this new
address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa -- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI
arts news by e-mail, contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.