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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 10, 2006

Marvin Bell Reads New Poems On WSUI Feb. 22

Marvin Bell, emeritus faculty member of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and Iowa's first Poet Laureate, will read new poems at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910. The broadcast will originate in a free event hosted by Julie Englander in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen on the Internet at

Available for purchase that evening will be an Empyrean Press broadside of one of Bell's new poems, "I Couldn't Sleep."

Bell says of his latest work, "Some of these poems were written in the mornings at the First Avenue Java House and others at home very late at night. I recently founded the School of Prophetic Existentialism. It was an accident."

A piece in the Georgia Review summarized his work by observing that "Marvin Bell enlarges our understanding of what poetry can do."

Bell has published 18 books of poetry and essays, beginning in 1969. The latest two books of poetry are "Rampant" (2004) and "Nightworks: Poems 1962-2000" (2000). "Rampant" was named poetry book of the year by the Library Journal, and the long poem that completes the book was awarded the Shestack Prize by the American Poetry Review. Critic Judith Kitchen called that work "one of the most important poems of the last 20 years."

Bell is on the faculty of the low-residency Master of Fine Arts program based at Pacific U. in Forest Grove, Oregon. He has held senior Fulbright appointments to Yugoslavia and Australia, and he has taught at Goddard College and the Universities of Hawaii, Washington and Wichita State.

He also leads an annual workshop for selected teachers from America SCORES, an urban after-school soccer and poetry program for boys and girls ages 8-12. The ever-expanding program now has franchises in Boston, New York, Chicago, Denver, Cleveland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, the District of Columbia and Milwaukee.

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in 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,