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W.S. MERWIN, whose gentle, zenlike poems have made him a mentor to hundreds of young American poets, will read from his work at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, at Nune-maker Place on the campus of Westminster College. Merwin's books include "The Lice," "Poems of the Cid" and "Selected Poems." For information call 488-4112.

- SALLY QUINTERS and JAN NYSTROM will read from their work at A Woman's Place bookstore at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 1. Quinters is a writer and "rider" currently living in Heber City. Nystrom is a medical research assistant who has published fiction in Carolina Quarterly and Prairie Schooner.- STEPHEN R. COVEY will speak at the Ogden Park Hotel from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, then later that night at the Salt Lake Doubletree Hotel from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Covey is the author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." For information call 377-1888 in Provo.

- RICHARD CRONSHEY will read from his poetry and FRANK JARVIS will provide music at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at 240 S. Main. For information call 972-6739.AWARDS

- PAUL BOWLES has been selected as the winner of the annual Rea Award for the Short Story. The $25,000 award to Bowles was given by the Dungannon Foundation.

Bowles, best known for his novel "The Sheltering Sky," has also written several short story collections, including "The Delicate Prey and Other Stories," "A Distant Episode: The Selected Stories," and "Collected Stories of Paul Bowles." - UPI

- A POETRY PRIZE will be restored to the annual National Book Awards this year after an eight-year absence, the National Book Foundation has announced.

The foundation also said its next chairman will be critic Joel Conar-roe, president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Recipients of the poetry prize, which was begun in 1950, have included William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Robert Lowell and James Merrill. The prize has not been awarded since 1983. - APAUCTION

- SOTHEBY'S will sell the original autographed manuscripts of all major literary works by Alan Paton.

Beginning in 1948 with the publication of "Cry, the Beloved Country," Paton's insightful works illuminated South Africa's troubled society and his dedication to human rights.

In addition to "Cry, the Beloved Country," the sale will include the working manuscripts to 10 other works, including Paton's two other novels, "Too Late the Phalarope" and "Ah But Your Land Is Beautiful," numerous short stories and essays, and Paton's two-part autobiography, "Towards the Mountain" and "Journey Continued."

The auction of Fine Books and Manuscripts will be held at Sotheby's on June 3, 1991. - AP