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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 8, 2008

Poets and naturalist will read for 'Live from Prairie Lights' Feb. 21 and 22

Poets Sheryl St. Germain and Paul Brooke and naturalist Doug Thorpe will be featured in free "Live from Prairie Lights" events at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 21 and 22, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

On Thursday St. Germain and Brooke will read from their newest collections, and on Friday Thorpe will read from "Rapture of the Deep," winner of the David Family Environmental Book Award.

Listen to each of the readings live via the Writing University Web site at The events will also be recorded for broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series, originating on UI radio station WSUI-AM 910.

Hour-long Iowa Public Radio "Live from Prairie Lights" productions, hosted by Julie Englander, air at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays on WSUI-AM 910 in Iowa City and WOI-AM 640 in Ames.

St. Germain's latest collection of poems is "Let It Be a Dark Roux." She is the director of poetry and nonfiction writing at Chatham College and the author of "Swamp Song," "Making Bread at Midnight," "How Heavy the Breath of God," "Going Home," "The Mask of Medusa" and "The Journals of Scheherazade."

UI Writers' Workshop alumna Mary Swander wrote, "Sheryl St. Germain's poetry is filled with sensual delight, with the enjoyment of good food, good company, and good music. While she travels the world, St. Germain returns again and again to her native New Orleans, to the bonds of family and the forces of nature that break through and spill over human walls and barriers.

"In 'Let it Be a Dark Roux,' St. Germain teaches us how to embrace all the currents of life -- its pleasures, its sorrows, its inevitable challenge to step out into the street and take up the dance once more."

Brooke, who teaches at Grand View College in Des Moines, will read from "Light and Matter: Photographs and Poems of Iowa." His poetry has been published in journals, including Magma, the Rocky Mountain Review, Flyway, Green Fuse and Permafrost, and in the anthology "Voices on the Landscape: Contemporary Iowa Poets," and his photography has been exhibited in Iowa and Florida.

Thorpe's book explores the relationship between our minds and the great world outside us -- "the wild truth," as he calls it. Bill McKibben wrote, "Thorpe helps us understand what Thoreau meant when he said that in wilderness is the preservation of the world."

And Scott Cairns, author of "Short Trip to the Edge," wrote, "Doug Thorpe has thought deeply -- as he has trekked deeply -- into the terra incognita where lies the intersection of the phenomenal and the supposed pre-phenomenal, understanding that language itself is the surest tool whereby the pilgrim might discover those traces joining what is visible and what is not, a disposition more likely than most for apprehending revelation."

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights, 319-337-2681,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),