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UI Writers' Workshop alumni give free readings May 2, 3
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University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop alumni will be featured in free readings at 7 p.m. May 2 and 3, in Prairie Lights books and streamed live on the Writing University website, www.writinguniversity.org.
Fiction alumnus Larry Baker will read on Wednesday, and on Thursday poetry alumnae Cathy Park Hong and Joyelle McSweeney will sample their new collections.
Baker’s new book is Love and Other Delusions, a novel that mixes love, loyalty, adultery, and death.
Robert Leonard, author of Yellow Cab, wrote, “Some art just points us at the direction it wants to take us and presumes that we’ll get there. Other art takes us gently by the hand to lead us towards its goal.
"Larry Baker’s art in Love and Other Delusions does a bit of both, but most of the time it engages us more fully, in an deeply intellectual wrestling match with matters of the heart, if not the soul. And at its best, and for I what I suspect will be the case for many readers, the heart involved is our own.”
Baker’s first novel, Flamingo Rising, was one of three finalists for the “Great New Voices” award for 1997, a Los Angeles Times “Top 100” book for 1997, and chosen by the Iowa Center for the Book to represent Iowa at the 2010 National Book Festival in Washington. It was also adapted for a Hallmark TV movie. His most recent novel, A Good Man, was nominated for “Book of the Year” by the Southeast Independent Booksellers Association in 2010. This year, he was added to the Iowa Literary Walk of Fame.
Hong’s new book is Engine Empire, which David Mitchell described as, “Novelistic, meditative, offbeat, and soulful, Cathy Park Hong's poetry is many fathoms deep."
Hong's other work includes Translating Mo'um; and Dance Dance Revolution, which won the Barnard Women Poets Prize. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.
McSweeney will read from Percussion Grenade, Poems and Plays. Her other works include essays, poems, and novels. She also translates the Aeneid.
Her prose, poetry, drama, and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, Poetry, American Letters and Commentary, Fairy Tale Review, Gulf Coast, How2, Jubilat, Conduit, and Lamination Colony, and are featured in anthologies including My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales and Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century.
McSweeney is a co-founder of Action Books and Action, Yes, a press and web-quarterly for international writing and hybrid forms, as well as a contributing editor of the collective culture blog montevidayo.com. She teaches at the University of Notre Dame, and will be on the faculty of the Iowa Writers' Workshop next year.
The Writers’ Workshop is a unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the UI Graduate College. For more information or special accommodations for the live events, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.