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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 6, 2003

Photos: Aaron McCollough; cover of McCollough's book Welkin.

'Live from Prairie Lights' Features Workshop Grads

The "Live from Prairie Lights" series, hosted by Julie Englander on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910, will feature two Iowa Writers' Workshop graduates, fiction writer Louis Robinson and poet Aaron McCollough, at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in the Prairie Lights book store at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Robinson, a winner of the Glenn Schaeffer Award, is the author of "Officer Friendly and Other Stories."

A preview in Publishers Weekly concluded, "Robinson establishes himself as a writer with a seductive, edgy voice in this dark debut collection of 11 stories set in and around the seaside town of Point Allison, Maine. . . . Keeping a judicious distance from his characters, Robinson allows ingenious plotting and scene-setting to drive these coolly absorbing stories."

Michele Leber wrote for the American Library Association's Booklist, "In crisp, concise prose, Robinson probes unusual aspects of the human condition in this debut collection of stories with an edge that snags the reader's memory."

Robinson attended Middlebury College before coming to the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has also written for periodicals including Sports Illustrated and the Boston Globe.

McCollough's "Welkin" was the winner of the 2002 Sawtooth Prize in Poetry, selected by Brenda Hillman. Hillman is an alumna of the Writers' Workshop and has returned as a visiting faculty member. The award includes publication and a cash prize of $1,500.

Michael Palmer wrote, "Aaron McCollough has reclaimed (that is, radically reclaimed) a certain ancientness of praise and quest, credence and address, for our fractured present. The resulting poems resonate with a singular music, urgency, and substance. In short, 'Welkin' is both an inventive and immediately rewarding collection, and one rich with promise."

A native of Tennessee, McCollough holds degrees from the University of the South and North Carolina State University, in addition to his Master of Fine Arts degree from the UI. He is currently working on a doctorate at the University of Michigan.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

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