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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 20, 2004

Writers' Workshop Faculty Members Galvin And McCracken Read Nov. 3

Poet James Galvin and fiction writer Elizabeth McCracken, faculty members in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will present a free joint reading at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, in Room 101 of Biology Building East on the UI campus.

Both Galvin and McCracken are also graduates of the Writers' Workshop.

Galvin, winner of a 2003 Lannan Foundation Award, has written several volumes of poetry, which were collected in "Resurrection Update." He is also the author of "The Meadow," a history of the terrain and people of a high-mountain meadow in southern Wyoming near his home above Tie Siding, and the novel "Fencing the Sky."

His most recent collection of poems, "X," was published last year. Critic Gianmarc Manzione wrote of that book, "Galvin deftly skirts the boundary between authenticity and mawkishness, and whether it's a nightingale crooning on a nearby windowsill or a case of the old heartbreak that's got him down, James Galvin's 'X' yields some of the best poetry of his life."

His honors include a "Discovery"/The Nation award, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

McCracken's novel "Niagara Falls All Over Again" is the 2004 All Iowa Reads selection, sponsored by the Iowa Center for the Book.

She first grabbed the attention of the literary world in 1993, with "Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry," a collection of short stories she developed while she was a student at the Writers' Workshop. The New York Times Book Review carried a review of the collection that stated, "if these stories are about people who are taken in -- in all senses of the word -- they are also about the way in which the world's misanthropes, with their odd shapes and ragged edges, knit themselves into the fabric of life."

Her other book is "The Giant's House," a novel about the relationship of a lonely librarian with an 11-year-old boy she meets at the circulation desk. The book was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the book led Granta magazine to name her one of the Best Young American Novelists.

The Writers' Workshop is an academic unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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