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University of Iowa News Release


May 20, 2008

Martone reads from essays, fiction June 2 for 'Live from Prairie Lights'

Fiction and nonfiction writer Michael Martone will read from his essay collection, "Racing in Place: Collages, Fragments, Postcards, Ruins," as well as from his fiction, at 7 p.m. Monday, June 2, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen live via the University of Iowa Writing University Web site at

The event 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.

Robin Hemley, director of the UI Nonfiction Writing Program, said about the new nonfiction collection, "The ordinary always transforms into the extraordinary in these wonderful, complex, and circling essays."

Martone, the director of the creative writing program at the University of Alabama, is the author of five books of short fiction: "Seeing Eye," "Pensées: The Thoughts of Dan Quayle," "Fort Wayne Is Seventh on Hitler's List," "Safety Patrol" and "Alive and Dead in Indiana," and his fiction has been collected in "Double-Wide." His other work includes the travel spoof "Blue Guide to Indiana"; "Michael Martone," which includes a table of contents that does not match the contents, a collection of fabricated "contributor's notes," a bogus vita and a set of false acknowledgements; and "Unconventions: Attempting the Art of Craft and the Craft of Art."

He has edited two collections of essays about the Midwest: "A Place of Sense: Essays in Search of the Midwest" and "Townships: Pieces of the Midwest," both published by the UI Press. Martone and Hemley co-edited "Extreme Fiction: Fabulists and Formalists."

He edits Story County Books, and his "The Flatness and Other Landscapes," a collection of his own essays about the Midwest, won the Associated Writing Programs Prize for creative nonfiction in 1998.

He has been the recipient of an Ingram Merrill Foundation Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Pushcart Prize.

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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: Jan Weissmuller Prairie Lights,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office) 319-430-1013 (cell),