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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 13, 2004

Oct. 27 WSUI Reading Features Award-Winning Poets Baus, Gordon

Award-winning poets Eric Baus and Noah Eli Gordon will read from their recent work at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27 on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910.

The reading, hosted by Julie Englander, will be a free event at the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen on the Internet at

Baus will read from "The To Sound," winner of the 2002 Verse Prize selected by Forrest Gander, and Gordon will read from "The Frequencies," published in 2003.

Juliano Spahr wrote for Raintaxi, "Birds with extremely long necks. Cassiopeia. A sister. A Marco Polo. A somnambulist. A documentary on the voyages of Columbus. A cartographer. Star charts. Young intellectuals in black robes. Jean-Michel Basquiat. More birds and still more birds. A mathematician. All these things appear in 'The To Sound's' beautifully warped cosmology. This is a stunning book that builds its own world, a world of ambiguous relations and loaded words."

Explaining the award selection, Gander wrote, "The variously formal, often epistolary poems of Eric Baus' 'The To Sound' slide open uncanny sidewise logics, a sequence of shoji screens in the house of lyric. There are lovely, subtle shifts in the lexicon, too, words replacing the words that context suggests, as pyrite can replace bone. The implications radiate into rich fields of emotive nuance. The book is a sustained, swerving, humming pleasure."

"Eric Baus has channeled the consciousness of migratory animals, of a collective self, of others, of objects," poet Peter Gizzi wrote. "He has written an open letter from a marvelous land just beside this one, a place of interior wonder and intimate noise. It's 'The To Sound' of course: bent, exuberant notes that will wake you up wherever you are."

Baus is also the author of two chapbooks: "the space between magnets" and "a swarm in the aperture."

Critic Tony Tost wrote of "The Frequencies," "Noah Eli Gordon disconnects the flat, utilitarian sentence of normal discourse from any sense of normality -- if Google IS the new typewriter (that's what my guess is), we need to explore this simultaneously bright and dull instrument, like the Modernists explored the typewriter. . . . Gordon is of the first wave of what is sure to be a sea of poets testing the, um, jagged banks of language on the Internet; these banks are evidences of how people actually put their words together."

Gordon recently won Ahsahta Press Sawtooth Prize judged by Claudia Rankine, leading to the publication of "The Area of Sound Called the Subtone" this December.

He is co-editor for Baffling Combustions, a regular reviewer for the Boston Review and other journals, and publisher of a new chapbook series through Braincase press.

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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,