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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 28, 2005

Poet/Fiction Writer Susan Wheeler Reads 'Live From Prairie Lights' Oct. 11

Fiction writer and poet Susan Wheeler, a former faculty member of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from her debut novel, "Record Palace," and her Iowa Poetry Prize-winning collection of poems, "Ledger," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11 on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910.

The reading, hosted by WSUI's Julie Englander, will be a free event in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen on the Internet at

Of Wheeler's fourth poetry collection, published by the University of Iowa Press, Harold Bloom wrote, "Susan Wheeler is an exuberant, subtle, endlessly inventive original, and 'Ledger' marks a wonderful advance in her already vital contribution to American poetry."

"Susan Wheeler's densely wrought new poems are alternately hilarious and chilling in their power to evoke the terrible contradictions of daily life in our media-driven landscape," Marjorie Perloff said. "Wheeler is that rare thing among poets, a genuine cultural critic; her poems use image and allusion with such exactitude that we see the things around us -- from pop tarts to polyvinyl toilet seats -- as if for the first time."

Toni Morrison called "Record Palace" "an astonishment," and added, "Susan Wheeler's deft touch and flawless ear have produced an irresistible work, both fresh and sage."

A preview in Publisher's Weekly described the books as "a novel with all the snazzy syncopation of the jazz at its heart." And critic Donna Seaman wrote, "Wheeler's seductively atmospheric first novel traces a nervy young woman's odyssey to selfhood, evokes acute loneliness, measures out noirish suspense, interjects sly humor and pays unabashed tribute to Chicago circa 1980, out-there jazz, and the compelling music of language."

Wheeler's awards include the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Her work has appeared in eight editions of "Best American Poetry," as well as in the Paris Review, New American Writing, Talisman, The New Yorker and many other journals. She is on the creative writing faculties at Princeton University and graduate program of the New School in New York.

The Writers' Workshop is an academic program 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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