December 2011

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in southern California. He studied literature at Stanford University and later returned to the heartland, where he received his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1980. As a writer recognized early on for his promising talent, Cunningham was awarded several grants toward his work, including a Michener Fellowship from the University of Iowa in 1982, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1988. He spent two years in Iowa City, 1979 and 1980.

The Hours

Cunningham, Michael,
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John Cheever

 John William Cheever (1912-1982) was born in Quincy, Massachusetts and grew up in New England and, on his own admission, he saw American life through the prism of an Easterner. Cheever’s short stories and novels are rooted in some key facts of his family history.

United States
Cheever, John.
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Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver’s (1938-1988) plaque on the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk reads:

“Why don’t you kids dance?” he decided to say, and then he said it. “Why don’t you dance?” “I don’t think so,” the boy said. “Go ahead,” the man said. “It’s my yard. You can dance if you want to.”

Carver, Raymond,
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Robert Olen Butler

Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winner for A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain (1992), is an alumnus of the University of Iowa Playwright program.

His stories have appeared in such publications as The New YorkerEsquire, Harper'sThe Atlantic Monthly, GQ, and Zoetrope All-Story. He has had stories included in editions of The Best American Short StoriesNew Stories from the South, and numerous college literature textbooks. Butler has also written feature-length screenplays.

Butler, Robert Olen.
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Mildred Wirt Benson

 Mildred (Millie) Wirt Benson (1905-2002) was born on July 10, 1905 in Ladora, Iowa. Her father, the town doctor, Dr. J. L. Augustine, delivered Mildred at home. Benson spent her childhood playing outdoors, jumping rope and making mud pies in the summers, and ice-skating in Iowa’s cold winters.[fn]Rehak, Melanie . Girl Sleuth. Orlando, Florida: Harcourt inc., 2005.[/fn] At an early age, Benson found a passion for writing and had her first story published in June 1919. The story named The Courtesy appeared in St. Nicholas magazine.

United States
Benson, Mildred W.
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Sebastian Barry

Sebastian Barry (1955), poet, fiction writer, and playwright, was a resident with the International Writing Program in the fall of 1984. He came to Iowa City with just his first novel, Macker's Garden (1982), and two poetry collections, The Water Colorist (1983) and Time Out of Mind (1983), published.

Iowa City turned out to be a stimulating experience for Barry, of which he testified in this correspondence:


13 May 1985

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Dori Butler, Katherine House and Wendy Henrichs

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Dori Butler, Katherine House and Wendy Henrichs
Sunday, December 11, 2011 - 7:00pm

Kristopher G. Phillips reading

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Kristopher G. Phillips
Friday, December 9, 2011 - 7:00pm



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