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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 2, 2005

Poet Mary Ruefle, Writers' Workshop Visiting Faculty Member, Reads Nov. 16

The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop will present a free reading by visiting faculty poet Mary Ruefle at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Room S401 of the Pappajohn Business Building on the UI campus.

Ruefle's books are "Apparition Hill," "Post-Meridian," "Cold Pluto," "Memling's Veil," "The Adamant," "Life Without Speaking," "Among the Musk Ox People," and most recently, "Tristimania." "A Little White Shadow" will be released by Wave Books in January.

"The Adamant," which won the 1988 Iowa Poetry Prize, was re-released in paperback this summer.

Ruefle is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches in the Master of Fine Arts writing program at Vermont College.

Poet Charles Simic wrote, "There's a line in a Mary Ruefle poem which speaks of the smell of freshly sharpened pencils. How accurate, we think as we read her. In poems striking for their vivid, playful and original use of the imagination, she brings us an often unnerving, but always fresh and exhilarating view of our common experience of the world."

In the American Book Review, W.B. Kekler described Ruefle as "a master of the "chaos effect": "Mary Ruefle writes in the roaring winds stirred up by the single butterfly's wings. Hers is a variable sensibility, now baroque, accreting density of detail and ornament, now spare and utilizing only the essential. With strange, almost metaphysical inversions, she awakens us to the protean qualities of language... "

And Peter Harris wrote in the Virginia Quarterly Review, "Mary Ruefle's poems are about living life with great intensity, with interrogative adamancy; they challenge the literate reader, drowned by the fume of poppies, to wake up before he is beheaded."

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.

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