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University of Iowa News Release


April 10, 2007

Pesquès Presents Bilingual Reading, With Swensen Translation, April 18 At UI

Poet Nicolas Pesquès will present a bilingual reading, in French with English translations by Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty member Cole Swensen, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in Shambaugh House on the University of Iowa campus.

The reading, co-sponsored by the Writers' Workshop, the Department of French and Italian and the International Writing Program, is free and open to the public.

"Pesquès is a major figure in post-'68 experimental poetry, and is known for his continuing series of book-length poems on Mt. Juliau in central France," Swensen explains. "Fusing philosophy into his spare lyricism, he focuses on nature in a way that foregrounds the mind and examines its role in constituting the world that we see and that we love."

This reading celebrates "Physis," the fifth in the Juliau series and his first book-length work to appear in English. Swensen's previous translations include "Island of the Dead" by Jean Frémon, for which she received the PEN Literary Award for Translation in 2004.

Pesquès was born in France in 1946, and has been publishing poetry since 1971. His most recent books include "Trois poèmes" (Three poems) from Edition du Limon, 1995, and "La face nord de Juliau" (The north face of Juliau), volumes one through four, published by André Dimanche between 1988 and 2000. The fifth volume, from which this text is taken, is due out later this year.

Pesquès also writes extensively on contemporary art, and his work in literary criticism includes a book on the poetry of Jacques Dupin.

The Writers' Workshop and the Department of French and Italian are academic units of the UI College of Liberal arts and Sciences.

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