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University of Iowa News Release

April 15, 2005

Prize-Winning Alumnae Poets Read On WSUI April 27

University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumnae Megan Johnson and Carrie Bennett, winners of the Iowa Poetry Prize and the Washington Prize, will read from their award-winning volumes at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910. Listen on the Internet at

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

Johnson will read from "The Waiting," published by the UI Press, and Bennett will read from "Biography of Water," published by the Word Works in Washington, D.C.

Iowa Poetry Prize judge Mark Levine wrote, "'The Waiting' is a great first book, obsessed, driven, full of the passion that is the discovery of poetry, the passionate invention of a language for speaking the unspeakable, the invention of an unspeakable self discovered by poetry. Megan Johnson's gift is enormous. Her work is a reminder that a poetry dedicated to speaking the truth never loses its power to shock a reader into awareness."

Donald Revell, author of "Arcady" and "My Mohave," added, "With her very first words in 'The Waiting' -- 'See here' -- Megan Johnson pledges herself to a daring, darling imperative: an open eye, an immediate presence. And she keeps her pledge, forwarding a sparkling and insouciant vision always farther in the direction of the day. It is a brilliant day."

At the UI, Johnson was the recipient of the Glenn Schaeffer Award in Poetry, through which she is now teaching at Victoria University in New Zealand. Her poems have appeared in journals including Verse, the Colorado Review, Epoch, Interim and the Antioch Review.

Bennett's lyrical poetry, poet and critic David Kirby says, "pulses with Emily Dickinson's desire to know as well as Wallace Stevens' love of making."

Bennett was a winner of a Maytag Fellowship at the UI, and she also holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Florida State University.

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

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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