June 2012

Carol Spindel—The Art of Juxtaposition

June 14, 2012
Creative nonfiction is an art of selection, omission, and juxtaposition. Decisions, decisions, decisions… Not only what to leave in and what to take out, but also how to artfully arrange the parts. When just the right elements are juxtaposed, a spark flies up from the space between. In this Eleventh Hour, Carol Spindel will lead a workshop on how to write a personal essay that derives narrative strength and power from juxtaposition. She will get you started with writing exercises and leave you with a template for an essay to be completed later.

Emily Pettit, Mark Leidner, Madeline McDonnell, & Bianca Stone—Influence & Inspiration

June 12, 2012
In this panel discussion Pettit, Leidner, McDonnell, and Stone will discuss their recent poetry, fiction, and comic publications in conjunction with specific and intimate outside influences, inspirations, imitations, and inquiries. They will present examples of the ideas, authors, forms, and practices which helped them generate their own most recent work, as well as discuss how writers might discover creative motivation in the world around them.

Anjali Sachdeva—Step Away From the Desk: Experiential Writing

June 11, 2012
In this Eleventh Hour, Anjali Sachdeva will discuss the effect that getting out into the world and participating can have on your writing. This type of experiential preparation can take different forms—conducting interviews or on-site research, participating in an activity that one will later write about (or that characters take part in during a pivotal scene), or more meditative forms of writing in a natural setting. She will discuss the ways in which these practices can influence and enrich a writer’s work and how she has used them in the past (for her own work and for students).

Jonathan Wells & Spencer Short reading

Archive Date: 
March 5, 2012
Jonathan Wells & Spencer Short

In this audio archive, poets Jonathan Wells and Spencer Short read from their work. Jonathan Wells was the director of Rolling Stone Press, the book publishing division of Rolling Stone magazine. He is a widely published poet and the author of Train Dance, his first full-length collection of poetry. He is also the editor of Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll. Train Dance adopts the rhythm and return of the commute through the Hudson Valley into Manhattan as a motif for the echoes of memory and event that contour a life.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Portrait of Summer in Iowa City

IWP Alum Khaled Kahlifa in the Middle of Syria's Struggle

International Writing Program alum Khaled Khalifa (IWP 2007) has a record of writing eloquently about contemporary Syria’s complex political landscape.

Interview: Iowa Writer's Workshop Graduate Maggie Shipstead discusses her new novel

Lucy Walton of the UK website Female First interviews Iowa Writers Workshop graduate Maggie Shipstead on her new novel Seating Arrangements.

In this Female First interview, Shipstead sets the scene of her novel Seating Arrangements in New England, in what Shipstead describes as "über-WASP" culture: "lobsters, gin and tonics, island breezes, a drunken aunt who knows too much…and a dead whale." Shipstead drew inspiration for her setting through

Karen Bender?How to Find the Short Story within your Novel

In this Eleventh Hour, Karen Bender will address a strategy that she found helpful while writing her first novel?finding a short excerpt within it and polishing it to send out. She will discuss the differences between a story and a novel, what to look for in your novel when trying to shape a good excerpt or story, and how to use the story form to help you revise a nebulous, inchoate novel.

Sandra Scofield?Not a Small Thing: The Sentence

Suddenly it?s in vogue, the sentence. Books and NYT blogs: Attend, oh ye proseurs*, to the way the words lie on the page. There?s good reason to read closely for style and meaning, for efficacy and elegance. There?s good reason to think why good ones are, and bad ones aren?t?well, good. And there?s reason maybe most of all to rise to the challenge: Make your prose better, a line at a time.