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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 10, 2004

Aug. 13 "Live From Prairie Lights" Memorializes Donald Justice

As a memorial to poet Donald Justice, the "Live from Prairie Lights" series, hosted by Julie Englander on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910, will re-broadcast a 1995 reading by Justice at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13. Listen on the Internet at

Justice died on Aug. 6 in Iowa City, at the age of 78.

A graduate of the UI Writers' Workshop, Justice was for many years a faculty member of the workshop, and he received the Pulitzer Prize during his UI tenure. He returned to Iowa City in 1992 after retiring from the University of Florida.

Justice's books included "New and Selected Poems" (1995); "A Donald Justice Reader" (1991); "The Sunset Maker" (1987), a collection of poems, stories and a memoir; "Selected Poems" (1979), for which he won the Pulitzer Prize; "Departures" (1973); "Night Light" (1967); and "The Summer Anniversaries" (1959), which was the Academy of American Poets' Lamont Poetry Selection. A posthumous collection is forthcoming.

Justice won the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1991 and received grants in poetry from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. He was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 1997.

Writing in The New Yorker, former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand commented that Justice's poetry "engages us on a level more profound than the one we usually find ourselves on. . . Memory and rapture are so closely intertwined that they become a single gesture of sustained regard."

Writers' Workshop alumnus John Irving wrote, "Donald Justice has always demonstrated that the highest purpose of literature is to illuminate those things which are hard, disturbing, painful, moving, and repeat themselves -- not to obscure them."

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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,