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Release: April 12, 2002

UI poets McSweeney and Hong read during National Poetry Month

Two University of Iowa Writers' Workshop poets -- recent graduate Joyelle McSweeney and current student Cathy Park Hong -- will read from their new books at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 25 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 < >.

McSweeney's "The Red Bird," winner of the Fence Modern Poets Series, will appear next month, and Hong's "Translating Mo'Um" was published in February.

McSweeney's work has appeared in the Boston Review, Poetry, Jubilat and other journals. She was a Marshall Scholar at Harvard University, and at the UI her work has included assisting in the editing of the Annals of Otolaryngology, Rhinology and Laryngology.

Hong has been a winner of a Van Lier Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize, and her poetry has appeared in the Columbia Journal, Field, McSweeny's and Mudfish. Her work is also included in "Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of Asian North American Poetry."

Calvin Bedient wrote, "Hong both loves and hates to be concrete. Strung between Korean and English like a narrow suspension bridge, her 'I' dreads 'the courier that exacts a proper name.' Her brilliant, feisty, and formidable persona would resent being pegged to one language or culture as much as she resents kicking at the air between them…'Translating Mo'um' stings, is 'vinegary,' has passion and startling imagery. It makes for a strong, painfully cocky debut."

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