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Its Dr. Alphabet at the Iowa Juvenile Home!

October 30, 2010
By John Speer, Editor
TOLEDO CHRONICLE - Poetry probably isn’t high on the minds of a lot of young people. But ‘Dr. Alphabet’ - Dave Morice - had a group of male students at the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo out of their seats from the opening of his presentation last Wednesday.

The “Dr.” has a widely known reputation for his work in poetry and literature going back to the 1970s.

Sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council as part of a series provided by the Iowa Juvenile Home Foundation, Dr. Alphabet caught students attention by enlisting them to help unroll his 100-foot long cartoon poetry work.

The students were also going to create their own works of poetry through the guidance of Dr. Alphabet.

Created in 1982, the 100-foot long scroll formed the basis for “Poetry City Marathon I” and its outgrowth underway now - “Poetry City II” Morice said.

Beginning July 4, Morice has undertaken reading 100 volumes of poetry with the event to culminate on Halloween -Oct. 31. The readings take place at the Iowa City Public Library. He said he reads about two volumes of 100 pages each day. The event in observance of Iowa City being named a City of Literature the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Morice has dedicated the undertaking to the memory of his sister, Michelle Sall, who died of brain cancer six months ago.

Currently, Dr. Alphabet is touring 45 Iowa schools.

He began his career in 1975 and during it taught Children’s Literature at the University of Iowa for seven years. He also has been involved with the Iowa Writers Workshop at the U of I.

One of his renown fetes was “Wrapping a city building in poetry in Iowa City which led to the marathon I’m doing now,” he said.

Dr. Alphabet is returning to present a second program at IJH this week.

Article Photos

“Dr. Alphabet” - Dave Morice - displays a portion of his 100-foot long cartoon which took him eight hours to create in 1982.
Chronicle photos/John Speer

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