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University of Iowa News Release

July 5, 2005

Poets Marvin Bell And Jonathan Stull Read July 18 On WSUI

Former Iowa Poet Laureate Marvin Bell, who recently retired as Flannery O'Connor Professor in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will be joined by UI alumnus Jonathan Stull in a reading at 8 p.m. Monday, July 18, 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

Stull, who teaches at the University of Northern Iowa and the Waterloo schools, is the author of the poetry collections, "Kyrie" and "Singing the Lake's Desire."

Stull has been a "Poet in the Schools" for the Des Moines National Poetry Festival, and his poetry has appeared in the North American Review, the Kansas Quarterly, the Wascana Review, 100 Words, Trapeze, Artword Quarterly, Poem, Stand Alone, the Briar Cliff Review and the anthology "Voices on the Landscape: Contemporary Iowa Poets."

Bell, who attended the Writers' Workshop in the early 1960s, will retire as Flannery O'Connor Professor of Letters at the end of this semester after 40 years on the faculty, and he recently completed two terms as Iowa's first Poet Laureate.

In addition to Galvin and McKean, Bell's hundreds of former students include Pulitzer Prize winners Rita Dove and James Tate, and prominent poets and fiction writers including Sandra Cisneros, John Irving, Lee Blessing, James McKean, Denis Johnson, Joy Harjo, Larry Levis, Patricia Hampl, Mary Swander, Marilyn Chin, Norman Dubie, Marcus McPeek Villatoro, David St. John and his long-time faculty colleague James Galvin.

As Poetry Daily put it, he "has been part of the conversation for a half century, including the words of and about his signature creation, the 'Dead Man.'" And an article in the Georgia Review asserted, "Marvin Bell enlarges our understanding of what poetry can do."

Among Bell's many other poetry collections are "Iris of Creation," "The Book of the Dead Man," "Ardor (The Book of the Dead Man, Vol. 2)" and "Nightworks: Poems 1962-2000." His most recent volume is "Rampant," which ends with a long poem that critic Judith Kitchen called "one of the most important poems of the last 20 years."

Bell has received the Lamont Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and Senior Fulbright appointments to Yugoslavia and Australia. He has been invited to read his poetry at the White House, the Guggenheim Museum, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Library of Congress. And his "Stars Which See, Stars Which Do Not See" was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1977.

In addition to his many years as a faculty member of the Writers' Workshop faculty, he has taught at Goddard College and the Universities of Hawaii and Washington. Bell has served both as a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writing Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, which involve teaching at other campuses, and he has also taught in Prague and Paris.

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in the English department 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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