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University of Iowa News Release

April 19, 2006

Photos (from left): Marvin Bell, Iowa's first poet laureate; Iowa singer-songwriter Bob Hillman; Texas singer-songwriter Beth Wood.

Iowa City Poetry Slam Featured On 'Talk of Iowa' April 28

The April 28 edition of the "Talk of Iowa Live from the Java House" radio program will feature the Iowa City Poetry Slam with guests Marvin Bell, Iowa's first poet laureate, and Joe Mirabella, who started the Slam in 2002. Bell and Mirabella, along with others from the group will share and perform this post-modern form of performance poetry.

The public is invited to join the audience for the program, broadcast live on Iowa Public Radio at 10 a.m. on Fridays from the Java House at 211 E. Washington in Iowa City. Heard statewide, the program originates from WSUI AM 910, the University of Iowa's public radio station.

Poetry slams are a competitive art of performance poetry, started in 1986 when construction worker and poet Marc Smith approached a Chicago jazz club owner with a plan to host a weekly poetry competition on Sunday nights.

Since the Iowa Poetry Slam was started in June 2002 at the Mill in downtown Iowa City, local and touring poets have performed over 1,000 poems. Many are National Poetry Slam Champions and HBO's Def Poetry Jam celebrities.

Iowa singer-songwriter Bob Hillman will perform live on the April 28 program. His new CD is titled "If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home. After seeing a live performance, one reviewer described Hillman as "one-third Bruce Springsteen, one-third Bob Dylan, and one-third Conan O'Brien."

On the April 21 edition of "Talk of Iowa Live from the Java House," Texas singer-songwriter Beth Wood will perform live and talk about her career. Winner of numerous awards including the 2005 Kerrville New Folk Contest, Wood's sixth and latest release is titled "Marigolds."

Hosted by Ben Kieffer, "Talk of Iowa Live " offers an eclectic variety of topics and guests for its listeners. The show is broadcast live statewide to an estimated 30,000 listeners each week on public radio WSUI AM 910 Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, WOI AM 640 Ames/Des Moines, KTPR-FM 91.1 Fort Dodge, KOWI - FM 97.9 Lamoni, and KWOI- FM 90.7 Carroll.  

The broadcast can also be heard in streaming audio at by clicking on "Listen to WSUI"; it is rebroadcast on WSUI at 10 p.m. Fridays. It is also broadcast several days later on cable TV over UITV in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,