Iowa Writes

from "Dogs"

      Wednesday morning, an elephant walked the streets of Port-au-Prince after a visit with the president.
      The elephant was led by a dandy dwarf. This fellow had a large, red, heavily made-up smile on his clown's face, which nevertheless looked grim under a green top hat.
      There were two camels walking along as well, and four tigers kept two by two in a cage. On each camel sat a woman wearing a night-blue sequin dance suit, black-netting tights, and inch-long black eyelashes. The crowd that followed them, eyes popping and jaws dropping, did much to increase the annoyance, boredom, and heat discomfort of the tigers which leaned heavily against their cages' iron bars.
      The crowd had never seen the likes of these creatures. People elbowed each other to get closer and closer—closer to see the tigers panting, the women smoking in sexy poses, the camels drooling, the dwarf cracking his whip, the elephant dropping dung on the newly repaved avenue of Champ de Mars plaza.
      The animals—from a Mexican circus in town for a couple of days—had just come out of the palace's gardens where the president had given a party for children. Like most of them do, I too liked the circus when I was a child. Now I don't.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell was born and grew up in Haiti. She has held fellowships at the Guggenheim Foundation, the Bunting Institute, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, and the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University. In 1993, she won the Grolier prize for poetry. Her collection Crossroads and Unholy Water won the 1999 Crab Orchard Poetry Prize. Her short fiction has been published in Callaloo, the Crab Orchard Review, and the New Arcadia Review as well as The Best American Short Stories 2003. "Dogs" is an excerpt from The Company of Heaven (University of Iowa Press, 2010)

Established in 1969 and housed in the historic Kuhl House, the oldest house still standing in Iowa City, the University of Iowa Press publishes scholarly books and a range of titles for general readers. As the only university press in the state, it is dedicated in part to preserving the literature, history, culture, wildlife, and natural areas of the region.

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on May 09, 2011

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