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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 17, 2006

Poet Hass Addresses Violence In Dec. 1 Writers' Workshop Faculty Lecture

Robert Hass, former poet laureate of the United States, will speak on "Study War No More: Violence and the Literary Imagination," at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, in Room C20 of the Pomerantz Center on the University of Iowa campus. The lecture is part of the Writers' Workshop Faculty Lecture series.

Hass was a visiting faculty member in the Writers' Workshop in 1995 when he was selected U.S. poet laureate, a post he held from 1995 to 1997. He has won the MacArthur 'Genius' Fellowship and the William Carlos Williams Award, and he has twice received the National Books Critic Circle Award. His first book, "Field Guide," earned the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1973.

Hass' other collections of poetry include "Praise," "Human Wishes" and "Sun Under Wood." He also wrote "Twentieth-Century Pleasures," a book of essays on poetry. He has translated many of the works of Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz and is the editor of Thomas Transtromer's "Selected Poems: 1954-1986" and "The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa." He was co-editor of "The Best American Poetry 2001."

As U.S. poet laureate, Hass placed an emphasis on literacy and ecological awareness. He helped promote and organize Watershed, a weeklong gathering of writers and environmentalists designed to teach inner-city children about the nation's tradition of nature writing.

In addition to his time at the UI, Hass has taught at the State University of New York, Buffalo, and St. Mary's College. A professor of English at the University of California-Berkeley since1989, Hass was named Educator of the Year in 1997 by the North American Association on Environmental Education. He is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Lan Samantha Chang, the director of the Writers' Workshop, initiated the Iowa Writers' Workshop Faculty Lecture Series when she arrived last year and realized that workshop students and the UI/Iowa City community did not have access to the lectures that workshop faculty frequently present throughout the country and abroad.

"Our faculty are in demand for their expert insight into literature and the process of writing," she said. "Why should these wonderful lectures only be presented elsewhere?

"I felt this is an exciting resource that we should share. These are not the sorts of presentations that our students encounter within the workshop setting, and I expect that faculty, alumni and the writing community will be anxious to attend as well, to benefit from our teachers' insights and expertise."

Hass will speak on the same topic next spring in the President's Lecture Series at the University of Montana.

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.

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