WRITER: ALEX CAREY
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 9, 2001
Iowa Poet Laureate Bell to visit communities
IOWA CITY, Iowa University of Iowa
Writers' Workshop faculty member Marvin Bell, the State of Iowa's first poet
laureate, will visit high schools in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and West Liberty,
the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, and the public library in
West Liberty during February. Bell will make presentations as part of the
UI Arts Share program's "Cultivating Creative Writing -- An Iowa Tradition,"
through a grant from the Iowa Arts Council.
Bell will be at Kennedy High School in
Cedar Rapids on Feb. 14, East High School in Waterloo and UNI in Cedar Falls
on Feb. 15, and West Liberty High School and the West Liberty Public Library
on Feb. 26.
Free events, open to the public, will
be a community reading at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Art Auditorium, UNI Kamerick
Hall 111, and a reading by Bell at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26 in the West Liberty
In the high-school events, Bell will promote
literacy and writing, and some of the high-school students will read their
poems for him. Iowa First Lady Christy Vilsack has been invited to participate
in some of the events with Bell.
Bell, who has been called "a maverick"
and "an insider who thinks like an outsider," is the author of 17 books of
poetry and essays. Of Bell's newest collection Judith Kitchen says, "Bell
has redefined poetry as it is practiced today." According to the Harvard Review,
"It's tough to come away from ("Nightworks") not believing that Bell has the
largest heart since Walt Whitman."
Bell has received the Lamont Award from
the Academy of American Poets, the Award in Literature from the American Academy
of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships
and Senior Fulbright appointments to Yugoslavia and Australia.
"Stars Which See, Stars Which Do Not See"
was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1977. In March 2000 Iowa Gov.
Tom Vilsack named Bell the state's first poet laureate.
The Flannery O'Conner Professor of Letters,
Bell is a longtime member of the Writers' Workshop faculty. He has also taught
at Goddard College and the Universities of Hawaii and Washington. His former
students include Rita Dove, James Tate, Jorie Graham, John Irving and current
workshop faculty member James Galvin.
Bell has been invited to read his poetry
at the White House, the Guggenheim Museum, the Folger Shakespeare Library
and the Library of Congress. A graduate of the Writers' Workshop, he also
holds a bachelor's degree from Alfred University and a master's degree from
the University of Chicago.
The jumping-off point for "Cultivating
Creative Writing -- An Iowa Tradition," is the status of the Writers' Workshop
as the world's oldest and most influential creative writing degree program,
which has helped the University of Iowa and Iowa City gain an international
reputation as a Mecca for writers, and has made the name "Iowa" synonymous
with writing. The residencies will aim to promote interest in creative writing
and encourage life-long learning in the literary arts.
Funds provided by the Alliant Energy Foundation
will supplement the Iowa Arts Council grant in implementing the "Cultivating
Creative Writing" project.
The UI Arts Share program provides artistic
resources from the Iowa Center for the Arts to schools and community organizations.
The 2000 Arts Share roster includes more than 70 faculty and graduate students
in music, theater, dance, the visual arts and creative writing.
For more information about the Arts
Share program, call director Diane Kenney Handler at (319) 335-1618 or send
an e-mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
A free Arts Share program guide including
artist roster is available at the Arts Share office, 2077 Voxman Music Building,
the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.
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 <email@example.com>.