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University of Iowa News Release

April 29, 2004

Poet & NPR Commentator Codrescu Reads "Live From Prairie Lights" May 10

The "Live from Prairie Lights" readings series, hosted by Julie Englander on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910, will feature poet, novelist, essayist and popular National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu (left) at 8 p.m. Monday, May 10. Listen on the Internet at

Codrescu will read from his neo-Faustian "Wakefield," which has been described as "part novel, part hilarious rant on contemporary America."

Recent UI Writers' Workshop faculty member Elizabeth McCracken described the book as "Perverse, romantic, profound, hilarious, cynical, moving, always surprising and gorgeously written."

Tom Robbins wrote, "'Wakefield' zig-zags on wheels of comic brilliance, totally flattening a lot of useless architecture -- physical and psychological -- along the way."

Pulitzer Prize-winning UI alumnus Robert Olen Butler described "Wakefield" as "A brilliantly inventive cathedral of a book. No one -- and I mean no one -- is more deeply in touch with the zeitgeist of this obsessive, lunatic age than Andrei Codrescu. In our culture, in our literature, he is essential."

Born in Sibiu, Romania, shortly after the end of World War II, Codrescu emigrated to the United States in 1966 and became a U.S. citizen in 1981. In addition to being a poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter and NPR columnist, he is the editor of Exquisite Corpse, a literary journal online at

He is the MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

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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,