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University of Iowa News Release

April 22, 2004

UI Writers' Workshop Poet Dean Young Reads May 3

Poet Dean Young, a faculty member of the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, will present a free reading at 8 p.m. Monday, May 3 in the Prairie Lights book store at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

He will read from "Original Monkey," a fine press book published by the Empyrean Press of the UI Center for the Book.

Young's other volumes of poetry are "Skid," "Design with X," "First Course in Turbulence," "Beloved Infidel" and "Strike Anywhere." His poems have appeared several times in "The Best American Poetry" series.

Young has said of his poems, "I think they're very much about misunderstanding. There's that old writer's truism, 'Write what you know' -- well, you don't know very much. I think to tie meaning too closely to understanding misses the point."

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."

Poet Charles Simic wrote of Young's poetry: "Although his work comes out of the poetries of John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara and James Tate, Young has his own original voice. The language, the invention, the imagination and the sheer fun of his poems is astounding. It's not all dazzle, either. The poems are also moving. This man reminds us that there is nothing more serious than a joke."

Young's poems have appeared in Ploughshares, the Three Penny Review, Crazy Horse, the American Poetry Review, the Gettysburg Review, Ironwood, the Denver Quarterly, Sulfur, the Antioch Review, the Indiana Review, Poetry, New American Writing, the Ohio Review and other periodicals.

His prizes and awards include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University and a fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, R.I.

He said of his most recent volume, "Skid," "I think my first two books were relatively austere. In the following books, I tried to work toward celebration and joy and goofiness. But life conspires against you, hands you tragedy, proves that nothing can last."

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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,