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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 12, 2011

Oct. 24-29 literary streams include Simmons Short Fiction winner Rolnick

Iowa Writers' Workshop alumnus Josh Rolnick, winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award from the University of Iowa Press, will be featured on the Writing University website,, live literary streams from Prairie Lights Books Oct. 24-29.

The upcoming readings include:

--Writers' Workshop alumnus Stuart Nadler will read from "The Book of Life," his new short-story collection, at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24.
--Poet Adam Fell, a workshop alumnus who teaches at Edgewood College, will be joined by fellow Madison, Wis., poet Matthew Guenette in a reading at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26.
--Rolnick will read from his award winning "Pulp and Paper" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27.
--Best-selling author Colson Whitehead will read from "Zone One" at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28.
--Buzz Alexander will read from "Is William Martinez Not Our Brother? Twenty Years of the Prison Creative Arts Project" at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29.

The seven stories in the collection by Nadler, who was a Truman Capote Fellow and a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the UI, explore faith, family, grief, love, temptation, and redemption.

Darin Strauss, author of "Chang and Eng," wrote, "Stuart Nadler addresses tradition, but he captures the right-now as well as anybody. He's heart-breaking, yet he's funny. He writes beautifully, tersely, masterfully." And Frederick Reiken, the author of "Day for Night" observed, "His flawed protagonists tend to be forever on the brink of heartbreak, yet the unlikely effect of Nadler's fiction is that life is continually reaffirmed."

Fell's debut poetry collection is "I Am Not a Pioneer," and Guenette's second collection is "American Busboy."

Erika Meitner wrote of "I Am Not a Pioneer," "Adam Fell is a break-the-mold original, poet of the strip mall and the lakeshore, bard of Pabst and gas stations and gutted cigarette machines. His brave and quirky poems hum and crackle off the page; they wrangle with the violence in contemporary American society without wavering."

Guenette's first book was "Sudden Anthem," and his poems have appeared in the Barn Owl Review, Anti-, the New Orleans Review, Quarterly West, and the National Poetry Review. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Lee Ann Roripaugh wrote of the new collection, "In 'American Busboy,' a wry anti-mythology, the anti-hero busboy in an anonymous Clam Shack! tangles with the monotonous delirium of work, the indignities and poor pay of unskilled labor, the capricious deus ex machina of mean-spirited middle management, the zombified consumption of summer tourists, while jostling for the goddess-like attentions of waitresses and hostesses -- all battered up in sizzlingly crisp wit and language, and deep-fried in a shiny glaze of surrealism."

"Pulp and Paper" excavates the smallest steps people take to move beyond grief, heartbreak and failure -- conjuring the subtle, fragile moments when people are not yet whole, but no longer quite as broken."

Kevin Moffett, the author of "Permanent Visitors," wrote, "These finely wrought stories trace a path to restoration and repair without ever resorting to the overused, predictable footways. Their empathy and insight are surprising, their breadth is impressive."

Rolnick's short stories have also won the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize and the Florida Review Editor's Choice Prize. They have been published in the Harvard Review, the Western Humanities Review, the Bellingham Review and Gulf Coast, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New American Voices.

He currently serves as fiction editor of the literary journal Unstuck, and he is the publisher of Sh'ma, a journal of Jewish ideas. Read about the UI short fiction awards releases at

Whitehead plunges satirically into the zombie genre with the new novel "Zone One," which a starred review in Publishers Weekly described as "The kind of smart, funny, pop culture-filled tale that would make George Romero proud." Esquire magazine declared the novel, "The best book of the fall."

Whitehead, a recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and a MacArthur Fellowship, is the author of the national best seller "Sag Harbor" and the novels "The Intuitionist," "John Henry Days," and "Apex Hides the Hurt," as well as The Colossus of New York, a collection of essays.

Alexander, who was Carnegie National Professor of the Year in 2005, is the Arthur F. Thurnau professor of English language and literature at the University of Michigan, and the author of "Film on the Left: American Documentary Film from 1931 to 1942" and "William Dean Howells: The Realist as Humanist."

He is the founding director of the university's Prison Creative Arts Project, which teaches students to facilitate arts workshops in the state's prisons. These workshops help inmates and youth develop and perform material drawn from their own lives, encouraging individual initiative and pride in accomplishment, and seeking to reverse trends of incarceration in America. Read about the book at

The Writers' Workshop is an academic program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Graduate College. Visit the UI Press at

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: Exhibitions are searchable at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click on the link "Subscribe or Unsubscribe" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jan Weissmiller, Prairie Lights, Winston Barclay, University News Services,