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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 16, 2008

Three Writers' Workshop authors are National Book Award finalists

Three writers connected to the University of Iowa Writers' workshop -- faculty member Marilynne Robinson, alumnus Salvatore Scibona and former faculty member Mark Doty -- have been named finalists for the National Book Award.

Robinson, whose "Gilead" won the Pulitzer Prize, was nominated in the fiction category for "Home," a novel portraying different characters in the Iowa town of Gilead.

Scibona, who recently read for the WSUI "Live from Prairie Lights" series, is also a fiction finalist for "The End," his debut novel.

Doty was one of five finalists in the poetry category for "Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems."

More than 200 publishers submitted 1,258 books for the 2008 National Book Awards, one of America's most prestigious annual literary awards, presented by the National Book Foundation. Learn more at

The UI already has an extensive record of success in the National Book Awards. Among the past winners of the award who have been either students or faculty of the Writers' Workshop are Nelson Algren, John Cheever, Robert Penn Warren, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, William Stafford, James Dickey, Robert Bly, John Berryman, Mona Van Duyn, Flannery O'Connor, Wallace Stegner, John Irving, Philip Levine, Tracy Kidder, Bob Shacochis, John Casey, James Tate, Gerald Stern, Denis Johnson and Robert Hass.

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073 (office), 310-430-1013 (cell),