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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 7, 2008

UI faculty member Robyn Schiff will read from UI Press poetry collection Nov. 18

Poet Robyn Schiff, director of undergraduate creative writing in the University of Iowa English Department, will read from "Revolver," her new UI Press collection, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Schiff's collection considers the array of foreboding objects displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the traces of their ghosts 100 years later. The poems include a dirge on the Singer sewing machine, a consideration of J.A. Henckels silverware, an exuberant rumination on multipurpose campaign furniture, and an account of Ralph Lauren's silver Porsche 550 Spyder.

Poet Matthea Harvey wrote, "I love that it is impossible to predict the paths of the poems in 'Revolver.' Schiff's footwork is utterly unfamiliar in its combinations -- curtsey, kick, pirouette. Rabbit hole, revolving door, detour. Facts (from the tiny sugar pistols on Elizabeth Colt's cake to the Chinese name for Asian Longhorned Beetles) have never been so faceted, so fantastic. And these details are matched -- if not surpassed -- by a ferocity of feeling."

A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Schiff is the author of "Worth," winner of an award from the Greenwall Fund by the American Academy of Poets, and she is the co-editor of Canarium Books. Her work has been represented in anthologies including "Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century," "Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections" and "Transatlantic Verse." She was a featured poet at the 2007 Poetry Society of America Festival of New American Poets.

The English Department and the Writers' Workshop are units of 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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Robyn Schiff,; Allison Thomas, UI Press,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073,