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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160
Fax (410) 516-5251

February 9, 1999
CONTACT: Leslie Rice

Hopkins Reading, John Irwin's
"Just Let Me Say This About That"

John T. Irwin, noted literary critic and Decker Professor in the Humanities at The Johns Hopkins University, will give a reading of his comic, lyrical narrative poem, Just Let Me Say This About That, at noon on Wed., Feb. 24, in Shriver Hall on the university's Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St., in Baltimore.

Just Let Me Say This About That, written under Irwin's pen name "John Bricuth," is a 2,076 line poem set in iambic pentameter and written entirely in contemporary American idiom. It takes the form of a press conference with three questioners, Bird, Fox and Fish, who address the person at the podium as "Sir." Sir is either God, the president of the United States or everyone's father. At first, these almost Aesopian reporters begin with matters of the state but soon make it clear that what they really want to know is the meaning of life.

The poem is described by Baltimore poet Josephine Jacobson as "distinguished work ... language used brilliantly ... tragic and comic ... dynamic, bitter, consoling, but always fascinating ... a compelling and genuinely important work."

Irwin, a former editor of The Georgia Review, edits the fiction and poetry series at Johns Hopkins and was chairman of the university's Writing Seminars for nearly 20 years. His most recent critical work is The Mystery to a Solution, which won Phi Beta Kappa's Christian Gauss Prize for the best book in the humanities in 1994 and the Modern Language Association's Scaglione Prize for the best scholarly book in comparative literature.

This reading is part of the Wednesday Noon Series presented by the Johns Hopkins Office of Special Events. Admission is free. For further information, call the Office of Special Events at 410-516-7157.

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