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University of Iowa News Release

June 2, 2006

Update: the Mary Gordon reading on June 12 has been canceled.

Novelist Mary Gordon Launches Week of Readings On WSUI June 12-15

Novelist Mary Gordon, poets Richard Jackson, Robin Metz and Monica Berlin, mystery writer Matthew Pearl, and philosopher/poet John Koethe will be featured on "Live from Prairie Lights" June 12-15 on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910. The readings, hosted by Julie Englander, will originate in free events at 7 p.m. in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen on the Internet at

The schedule is:

Monday, June 12 -- Mary Gordon reading from "Pearl," just out in paperback, the story of a woman's attempt to save the life of her daughter, who is starving herself for political reasons.

Tuesday, June 13 -- poets Richard Jackson, Robin Metz and Monica Berlin reading from "Mantology," a collection from the UI Press focusing on the intensity of male experience, edited by Craig Crist-Evans and Kate Fetherston.

Wednesday, June 14 -- Matthew Pearl exploring the death of Edgar Allan Poe, in fact and fiction, in "Poe Shadow."

Thursday, June 15 -- John Koethe reading from his new collection of poems, "Sally's Hair."

Gordon's novels include "Spending," "The Company of Women," "The Rest of Life" and "The Other Side." She is also the author of the memoir "The Shadow Man." A faculty member at Barnard College, she has received a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the 1997 O. Henry Award for best story. A critique of "Pearl" in the New York Times Book Review described the book as "a demanding and rewarding brainy-brawny novel that complicates our understanding of the world instead of coarsening it. "

Jackson who teaches at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, will be at the UI teaching in the Summer Writing Festival. Berlin is a faculty member at Knox College, and Metz, who also teaches at Knox, is a graduate of the UI Writers' Workshop. Other "Mantology" contributors include Marvin Bell, Robert Bly, Christopher Buckley, Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Stuart Dybek, Philip Levine, Naomi Shihab Nye and David St. John.

Pearl, the author of the bestselling "The Dante Club," and Publishers Weekly called his new book "a compelling thriller centered on the mysterious end of Edgar Allan Poe... the exciting plot, numerous twists and convincing period detail could help land this on bestseller lists as well."

Of "Sally's Hair," Janet St. John wrote for Booklist, "Fleeting moments, parallel perceptions, and elegiac forms abound in this fine new poetry collection by award-winning philosophy professor Koethe. He continues his reign as one of America's most contemplative poets..." Koethe is professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and his most recent poetry collection, "Falling Water," won the Kingsley Tufts Award.

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,