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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 12, 2004

Writers' Workshop Faculty Hass And Vanderbes Read Feb. 25

Poet Robert Haas and fiction writer Jennifer Vanderbes, visiting faculty members in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from their work in a free event at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25 in Shambaugh Auditorium of the UI Main Library.

Hass, who was a two-term U.S. Poet Laureate and is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, has published books of poetry including "Sun Under Wood: New Poems," "Human Wishes," "Praise" and "Field Guide," which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series.

He has also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Czeslaw Milosz, and he is the author or editor of several other collections of essays and translation, including "The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa," "Selected Poems: 1954-1986" by Thomas Transtromer and "Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry," and he was the guest editor of the 2001 edition of "Best American Poetry."

He has been the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and has twice been honored with the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Hass' commitment to environmental issues led him to found River of Words (ROW), an organization that promotes environmental and arts education in affiliation with the Library of Congress Center for the Book. He is also a board member of International Rivers Network.

Vanderbes is an alumna of the workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She has received resounding praise for her debut novel, "Easter Island," in which three narratives, spanning 60 years, converge on one of the most remote and haunting locations on earth.

Robert Stone, author of "Damascus Gate" and "Bay of Souls," called the book, "Utterly captivating . . . one of the best novels of the year."

Ron Charles wrote in the Christian Science Monitor, "How can an unknown writer tell three stories across 60 years, balancing romance, botany, feminism, archeology, military history, academic politics, and civil rights for the handicapped in just 300 pages? The press release refers to a degree from Yale and a stint at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, but I suspect alien intervention."

A People magazine "Critic's Choice" review described the book as a "rich and worldly first novel. Bottom line: Glorious." And a review in the San Francisco Chronicle raved, "'Easter Island' is one of those rare novels that appeals equally to mind, heart, and soul."

Vanderbes' story "The Hatbox" was selected by Tobias Wolff to appear in the anthology "Best New American Voices 2000." And her one-act play, "The Applicant" was produced by the Soho Repertory Theatre in New York for their Summercamp 2000 Festival.

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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,