|Arts & Culture Archive|
The Iowa Writers' Workshop -- the nation's oldest and most prestigious graduate writing program -- celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Over those years, some of the biggest names in modern literature have studied and taught there, including Wallace Stegner, Flannery O'Connor, John Irving, Jane Smiley, Robert Penn Warren and Rita Dove. Some 28 workshop writers have won Pulitzer Prizes and four have gone on to become U.S. poet laureate.
Jeffrey Brown reports on this remarkable program in Iowa City on Thursday's NewsHour:
We've posted some extended interviews below, as well as two videos from student poets in the program...
Five years ago, Samantha Chang -- a 1993 graduate of the workshop -- became the first woman to direct the program. Chang has published a collection of short stories and two novels, most recently "All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost," a book about a fictional creative writing program in a small Midwestern city. Jeffrey Brown spoke to Chang about her book and raised the question about whether writing is really something that can be taught.
Allan Gurganus is perhaps best known for his 1989 novel, "The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All." He attended the Iowa Writers' workshop in the 1970s and studied with John Cheever. Since then, he's returned to give readings and teach master classes. Here's a short excerpt from his current project, "The Erotic History of a Southern Baptist Church":
Jessica Laser and Alex Walton are students and poets at the Iowa Writers Workshop. We asked each of them to share a poem...
Was attending with help
The subject's lacking. Think of it as love
where the subject's lacking, think of it as love
for a little while, a variation
woke me up at night"
sweating amid the upright. Pines and a song
men whistle, while they work become the paper
-- Alex Walton
Search this Blog
Best of the Beat
Lesson plans, student voices and a teacher community devoted to bringing arts coverage into the classroom.
NewsHour Poetry Series
|Support the kind of journalism done by the NewsHour...Become a member of your local PBS station.|