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Release: April 4, 2002  

UI alumna poet Cate Marvin reads April 16           

University of Iowa Writer's Workshop alumna Cate Marvin, winner of the 2000 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry for "World's Tallest Disaster," will read from her work at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. The free reading during National Poetry Month will be broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910. Listen on the internet at

The collection, whose publication in 2001 was supported by the Greenwall Fund of the Academy of American Poets, was selected for the Morton Prize by U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.

            Pinsky wrote in the introduction to "World's Tallest Disaster," "Violently passionate and firmly symmetrical, like tango or the blues, these poems -- at first -- are about sexual passion. . . . But in the tradition of love poetry, these poems don't stop with love. They move from eros to imagination. Or they thrash between the two. . . . This is an encouraging book in the context of American poetry's fashions or factions, because it evades categories. (Marvin's) is an urgent as well as an artful voice."

            Poet Edward Hirsch commented, "Cate Marvin's unswerving subject is how, as men and women, we afflict each other and ourselves. Her poems craftily destroy romantic stereotypes and speak back to the disasters we create. They speak with an anguished irony, enraged lyricism, and a dark hope. There is something both very old and very new in this brash, canny, and utterly authentic book."

            Marvin has been awarded scholarships to attend both Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers' Conferences. Her poems have appeared in magazines including the New England Review, the Antioch Review, the Paris Review, the Georgia Review and Ploughshares.

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