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University of Iowa News Release

April 8, 2004

Photo (from left): Cover from poet Matthew Rohrer's "A Green Light"; Rohrer and poet Joshua Beckman; and the cover from Beckman's "Your Time Has Come."

Poets Rohrer And Beckman Read April 19

Poets Matthew Rohrer and Joshua Beckman, each of whom has a new solo collection in print, will present a joint reading at 8 p.m. Monday, April 19, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading, during National Poetry Month, is free and open to the public.

The reading will be broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series, hosted by Julie Englander on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910. Listen on the Internet at

Rohrer and Beckman collaborated on the book, "Nice Hat. Thanks" and the audio release, "Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty." In the past they have created and introduced collaborative poems while on tour, but on this occasion each will read from his new collection.

"A Green Light" is the new volume by Rohrer, who is an alumnus of the UI Writers' Workshop. His other books are "Satellite" and "A Hummock in the Malookas," which was selected by Mary Oliver for the 1994 National Poetry Series. He is poetry editor for the journal "Fence."

Oliver called his work "beautiful and disquieting," and a piece in the Harvard Review noted that his poems are "everywhere marked by freshness and originality." And Chase Twichell wrote, "The surface ease and playfulness of these poems belie their seriousness."

New from Beckman is "Your Time Has Come," which follows "Something I Expected to Be Different" and "Things Are Happening," which was selected by Gerald Stern to receive the first American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Award.

Beckman has had work published in Harper's, Grand Street and the Massachusetts Review, and has received fellowships from the Albee Foundation, the Millay Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Bold Type's Poetry Editor Ernest Hilbert writes, "Beckman's poems flow out from a long American tradition beginning with Walt Whitman's 'Leaves of Grass' through Carl Sandburg's 'Chicago Poems' to Charles Olson's 'Maximus' poems and Allen Ginsberg's 'Fall of America,' even, perhaps strangely, the columnar iconographic gestures of Concrete poets like Ian Hamilton Finlay, overlaid onto otherwise buoyant lines."

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

PHOTOS are available at