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University of Iowa News Release

April 19, 2005

Poet W.S. Merwin Reads At UI May 2

Pulitzer Prize winner W.S. Merwin, a major voice in poetry for the last half-century, will read from his work at 8 p.m. Monday, May 2, in Shambaugh Auditorium of the University of Iowa Main Library. The event, presented by the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

Merwin's latest book of poetry, just released, is "Migration: New and Selected Poems." A Publishers Weekly preview commented, "Mystical formalist, elegant romantic, Vietnam-era protester, translator, maker of sweet memoirs and uneasy dreamscapes, and ecological activist, Merwin has been so prominent for so long that it's hard to believe this rich selection represents the work of just one man."

Merwin has written more than 15 volumes of poetry, beginning with "A Mask for Janus," which was selected by W.H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets award in 1952. Among his many honors are the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Tanning Prize, the PEN Translation Prize, the Wallace Stevens Award, and fellowships from the American Academy of Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2004 he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lannan Foundation.

Merwin was described by Peter Davison in the Boston Sunday Globe as a poet who "engages the underground stream of our lives at depths that only two or three living poets can match."

The Writers' Workshop is an academic 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,