University of Iowa

Highlighted ISWF Staff: Amy Margolis and Caryl Pagel

In this segment of the University of Iowa's series 'Be Remarkable', Amy Margolis, director of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, talks about the process of organizing and steering the two-month writing festival. She explains the inspiration that comes from bringing together writers "from every walk of life, every background" with the common purpose of writing. "As much energy as it takes, I get so much energy back from the Festival that I write more when we’re in session than in any time of year.” Read the full article here: Be Remarkable

Amy Margolis received her M.F.A. from The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow in fiction. She has taught writing both as part of the Festival and to undergraduates at The University of Iowa. Amy is from Kansas City, where everything matches.

Each month, THERMOS magazine conducts an interview with a past contributor from their publication. For July, the editors interviewed Caryl Pagel, a recent Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate and coordinator for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Pagel answers questions about craft, her influences and her recent work. She also provides readers with insight on her current poetic inspirations:

"Thermos: What were some of the first poems/poets you loved? How do they seem to you now? How do they relate to your own work?

Caryl Pagel: Some of the first poets I loved: Mike Ness, Ian MacKaye, Tim Armstrong, Glenn Danzig, Iggy Pop. The first formal poem I ever wrote was a pantoum about Ian MacKaye. The list still seems relevant, but lacking in girls. Perhaps that explains my current (on-the-page) favorites: Dickinson, Niedecker, Moore, Guest, Christensen—and also, my love for the dynamic music and emotion in Berryman and Hopkins." Read more...


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