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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 22, 2007

Essays In UI Press' 'After The Bell' Explore The Impact Of School

"After the Bell," a collection of essays that explore the impact of school experiences, will become available from the University of Iowa Press on Sept. 3.

The 66 short essays in "After the Bell: Contemporary American Prose About School," edited by Maggie Anderson and David Hassler, describe in many voices the emotional complexity and historical record of one experience most of us have in common: elementary and secondary school, from our first day all the way to graduation 12 years later.

Whether public or private, rural or urban, school is the first place we navigate on our own, learning how we stand apart, how we stand out, and where we do -- or don't -- fit in.

Told from the point of view of students, teachers, parents and administrators through the multiple perspectives of race, class, physical and intellectual abilities and sexuality, these stories reveal how memories of our school days haunt and sustain us.

As Naomi Shihab Nye notes, "there will never be a last day of school." That's the good news and the bad news about our common experience. From the staunchly Lutheran brick schoolhouse of Garrison Keillor's New Albion Academy in 1948 to Annie Thoms' Manhattan high school at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001, from Alberto Ríos's confusion as a bilingual child in a monolingual classroom to Henry Louis Gates' hard lessons in the segregated South, the essays in this collection capture the many public worlds of the school community as well as its idiosyncratic secrets.

Anderson is professor of English at Kent State University, where she directs the Wick Poetry Center and the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program. She is the author of five books of poetry and the coeditor of "A Gathering of Poets."

Hassler is the program and outreach director for the Wick Poetry Center, and he conducts writing workshops throughout northeast Ohio. He is the author of two books of poems, most recently "Red Kimono, Yellow Barn," for which he was named the 2006 Ohio Poet of the Year. He is the coeditor of "A Place to Grow: Voices and Images of Urban Gardeners" and, with photographer Gary Harwood, the author of "Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community."

"After the Bell" is the prose companion to the Anderson and Hassler poetry anthology from the UI Press, "Learning by Heart: Contemporary American Poetry about School," which won the American Library Association's Best of the University Presses award.

"After the Bell" is available for sale at bookstores or directly from the University of Iowa Press by phone at 800-621-2736 or online at Customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa may order from the Eurospan Group online at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,;
UI Press: Allison Thomas, 319/335-2015,