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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 15, 2005

Poet Laura Mullen, A UI Writers' Workshop Grad, Reads Sept. 28

Poet Laura Mullen, an alumna of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will present a free reading at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. She will be joined by poet Lisa Samuels, a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Mullen will read from "Subject," recently published by the New California Poets Series, and Samuels will read from her fourth collection, "Paradise for Everyone."

Calvin Bedient calls the poetry in Mullen's volume "solid and brave and relentlessly inventive." Forrest Gander says, "The obsessive force of this poetry, ruptured by caesura and stanza, is remarkable. Despite the considerable intellectual torque, the poems, concerned always with identity, the borders of the I and the Here, are quite funny in passages. The drama of this work is gripping, convulsive, and intense."

Erin Moure wrote, "To write today in English means using an idiom that is hegemonic, 'globalized,' no longer national. Vacated. A human, though, is necessarily sited, and here we find Mullen's 'Subject.' . . . Her 'here' is poetry that American English needs."

Mullen teaches at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Her first collection of poems, "The Surface," was chosen as a National Poetry Series selection; her second collection, "After I Was Dead," was selected for the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series. She is also the author of "The Tales of Horror."

Samuels is the author of "Letters," "The Seven Voices," and "War Holdings," and she has recent poems and essays in the Denver Quarterly, Aufgabe, Delmar, New Literary History and elsewhere. She is also known for her work on modernist and contemporary writers, on intellectual property in the humanities, and on critical practices.

Critic Ian Seed wrote of her new collection, "Tantalising, enchanting and strangely addictive might describe the best of Lisa Samuel's 'Paradise For Everyone.' . . . Reading Samuels is a little like chasing a phantom lover through a maze. Each time you turn a corner she is turning the next. You are convinced that if you could catch her you would finally understand the great secret of the universe. Although you know that this is impossible, you keep chasing, desire intensified by each glimpse of her you have. Paradise promised is always just out of reach."

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

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