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Nov. 3, 2006

Bowers to open dean's lecture series

by Dave Gieseke, LAS Public Relations

Neal Bowers, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of English, believes that vast numbers of contemporary poets are dead but don't know it.

"They write without a breath of inspiration and clutter libraries with lifeless books that no one reads," he said. "I was also one of the poetic dead."

That is until Bowers reincarnated himself as a novelist. His transformation from poet to novelist will be the focus of the inaugural event of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Lecture Series. Bowers will speak at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

Bowers' first effort at a more longform style of writing was Words for the Taking: The Hunt for a Plagiarist, a non-fiction account of having his poems plagiarized. The book was internationally acclaimed and has become standard reading in university classrooms where intellectual property is discussed.

"I found I had this weird story to tell, a true story that resembled a novel in some ways," Bowers says of Words for the Taking.

His first novel, Loose Ends, was published by Random House in 2001. He has written eight books that span a variety of genres -- poetry, fiction, nonfiction and literary scholarship.


"I was also one of the poetic dead."

Neal Bowers, professor of English