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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 19, 2005

Poet C.D. Wright, A Guest Of The UI Writers' Workshop, Reads Sept. 27

Poet C.D. Wright, a former visiting faculty member of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, will return to the University of Iowa to read from her work in a free event at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 in the Tippie Auditorium (Room W151) of the UI Pappajohn Business Building.

When Wright was selected to receive a 2004 "genius grant," the MacArthur Foundation announcement commented, "No single description adequately captures Wright's work; she is an experimental writer, a Southern writer and a socially committed writer, yet she continuously reinvents herself with each new volume. The trajectory and growth of her achievements as a poet can be seen in 'Steal Away,' a selection of her verse over the last 20 years. In this volume, Wright experiments with stanza, syntax and line and writes in a variety of styles -- prose poems, short lyrics and prose narratives. The poems themselves move from the personal to those from 'One Big Self,' where the personae originate from Wright's conversations with prisoners in the Louisiana state prison system.

"Despite her frequent use of experimental structures, her mode of expression is clear and accessible, and her poetry is rooted in the landscape and people of her childhood in Arkansas, often engaging issues of social importance. Wright is a prolific poet whose wide-ranging oeuvre includes collaborative projects with the photographer Deborah Luster and the composition and publication of two state literary maps: one of her native state of Arkansas, the other of her adopted state, Rhode Island, where she teaches and resides."

Wright is the author of 10 volumes of poetry and an editor for Lost Roads Publishers. She attended the University of Memphis and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arkansas.

In addition to teaching at the UI, Wright has been on the faculties San Francisco State University, Brown University, the Burren School of Art in Ireland and the University of Cincinnati. She is now the Israel J. Kapstein Professor of English at Brown.

Her many published works include "Further Adventures with You," "Just Whistle" and "Deepstep Come Shining," and her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals.

Her many honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Bunting Institute, a GE Award for literary essay, the Whiting Writers' Award, a fellowship from the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Foundation, a Lannan Literary Award, an award from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts and the Rhode Island Governor's Award for the Arts.

In 1994, she was named State Poet of Rhode Island, a five-year post.

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,