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Release: Jan. 12, 2001

Poets Young, Swensen to read Jan. 24

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Poets Dean Young and Cole Swensen, visiting faculty members in the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, will give a free joint reading at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, in Room 101 of the new Biology Building East on the UI campus.

Swensen, the director of the creative writing program at the University of Denver, is both a poet and a translator of contemporary French poetry.

Her recent work includes "Try," published by the UI Press in 1999 as the winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize. The volume won the Poetry Center Book Award, presented annually to an outstanding book of poetry published in the previous year. She won the National Poetry Series award in 1987 for "New Math" and the 1995 New American Poetry Series Award for "Noon."

Her published translations include "Natural Gaits" by Pierre Alferi, "Art Poetic" by Olivier Cadiot and Pascalle Monnier’s "Bayart: Spring."

Poet Forrest Gander wrote, "Quite honestly, I think Cole Swensen is a genius and her work, among that of my immediate contemporaries, is absolutely vital to me. Swensen often sustains and develops in her poems a major tone, a delicate meditative aura with subtle modulations. The inherent radiance of 'Try' lights up not only the paintings which are the poems’ ostensible subject material but layers of perception."

Young is the author of four books of poems, most recently "First Course in Turbulence." His other volumes of poetry are "Strike Anywhere," which won the Colorado Poetry Prize; "Design with X"; and "Beloved Infidel." His poems have appeared three times in "The Best American Poetry" series. He has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Critic Kenneth Koch wrote, "Dean Young’s exhilarating, complex, and wide-ranging poems give one the impression of conversations with an angel in which the poet has to be super-alert at every second, for every second counts and the angel knows everything. To listen to these conversations is to experience a colloquial, witty, emotional, and urgent discourse not to be found anywhere else."

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