Writers

Notable Faculty & Alumni

The University of Iowa claims among its faculty and graduates winners of virtually every major literary award, including the Pulitzer Prize, six recent U.S. Poets Laureate, and numerous winners of the National Book Award, MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, and other major honors.


Ray Young Bear


Poetry | Alumni | English Department

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Ruth Suckow Award

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Mo Yan


Fiction | International Writing Program

Nobel Prize in Literature (2012)


Charles Wright


Poetry | Alumni | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize, Fulbright, U.S. Poet Laureate

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Rebecca Wolff


Fiction | Alumni | Arts Share

National Poetry Series Award, Barnard Women Poets Prize


Tennessee Williams


Dramatic Writing | Playwrights Workshop

Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1948, 1955), Tony Award, New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, Donaldson Awards

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Sheba R. Wheeler


Dramatic Writing

Pulitzer Prize for Journalism (2000)

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Robert Penn Warren


Fiction | Poetry | Nonfiction | Journalism | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1947,1958,1979)


Naomi Wallace


Iowa Writers' Workshop | Playwrights Workshop

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Genius Award (1999)


Margaret Walker


Poetry | Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Alumni

Yale Series of Younger Poets, Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women

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Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Faculty

Guggenheim Fellowship, National Institute of Arts and Letters, Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame

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Marcos M. Villatoro


Poetry | Fiction | Nonfiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Alumni

Latino Literary Hall of Fame, Los Angeles Emmy Award


Abraham Verghese


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Alumni

National Humanities Medal (2015), Heinz Award

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Mona Van Duyn


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Alumni | Faculty

Pulitzer Prize (1991), National Book Award (1971), U.S. Poet Laureate


Don Ultang


Journalism | School of Journalism | Alumni

Pulitzer Prize (1952)


Michael F. Toner


Journalism | School of Journalism | Alumni

Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism (1993)


Edwin Thumboo


Poetry | International Writing Program

National Book Development Council of Singapore Award, Cultural Medallion for Literature


James Tate


Poetry | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1992), National Book Award (1994)

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Mark Strand


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1999), U.S. Poet Laureate, Wallace Stevens Award, MacArthur Fellowship


Wallace Stegner


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1972), National Book Award for Fiction

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William Stafford


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop

U.S. Poet Laureate, National Book Award for Poetry (1963), Guggenheim Fellowship (1966), Western States Book Award (1992), Robert Frost Medal (1993)


W.D. Snodgrass


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1960), Ingram Merrill Foundation Poetry Prize, Poetry Society of America, National Institute of Arts


Jane Smiley


Fiction | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1992), American Academy of Arts and Letters

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Eleni Sikelianos


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop

National Poetry Series, New York Foundation for the Arts Award in Nonfiction Literature, National Endowment for the Arts fellowship


Robyn Schiff


Poetry | Alumni | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Academy of American Poets Award


Tomaž Šalamun


Poetry | International Writing Program

Pushcart Prize, Prešeren Fund Award and Jenko Prize, Ovid Festival Prize

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Mary Ruefle


Poetry | Nonfiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Nonfiction Writing Program

National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Whiting Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Lannan Foundation Award


Philip Roth


Fiction | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1997), National Book Awards, National Book Critics Circle, PEN/Faulkner Award, National Humanities Medal Citation


Marilynne Robinson


Fiction | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2005), National Humanities Medal, Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction

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D.A. Powell


Poetry | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Poetry Society of America, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Paul Engle Fellowship


Orhan Pamuk


Fiction | International Writing Program

Nobel Prize in Literature (2006), International Dublin Literary Award, Sonning Prize

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ZZ Packer


Fiction | Alumni | Arts Share | Live from Prairie Lights

Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, Whiting Award, Guggenheim Fellowship


John O'Keefe


Playwrights Workshop

Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award


Flannery O'Connor


Fiction | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop

National Book Award for Fiction (1972)

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Alice Notley


Poetry | Fiction | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Poetry Society of America Shelley Memorial Award

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Herbert Nipson


Journalism | School of Journalism | Alumni

Capitol Press Club Outstanding Journalist


Peter Nazareth


Fiction | Nonfiction | International Writing Program

Yale University Seymour Lustman Fellowship


H.M. Naqvi


Fiction | International Writing Program

DSC Prize for South Asian Literature


Frank Luther Mott


Journalism | School of Journalism

Pulitzer Prize (1939)


Kei Miller


Poetry | International Writing Program | Alumni

Prix Les Afriques, Caribbean Award for Excellence, Prix Carbet de la Caraïbe et du Tout-Monde, Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature


Nicholas Meyer


Dramatic Writing | Playwrights Workshop

Academy Awards nomination, Emmy Award nomination


James Alan McPherson


Fiction | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1978), MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship

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Elizabeth McCracken


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop

L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award, The Story Prize


Haki R. Madhubuti


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Alumni

American Book Award

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Robert Lowell


Poetry | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1947, 1974), U.S. Poet Laureate, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award

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Yiyun Li


Nonfiction | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Nonfiction Writing Program

Lannan Foundation Fellowship, Whiting Foundation Fellowship, PEN/Hemingway Award, Guardian First Book Award

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Philip Levine


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1995), U.S. Poet Laureate, Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award, National Book Award for Poetry, National Book Critics Circle Award

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Carolyn Kizer


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Faculty

Pulitzer Prize (1985)

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W.P. Kinsella


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Alumni

Officer of the Order of Canada, Stephen Leacock Award


Tracy Kidder


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1982), National Book Award


Donald Justice


Poetry | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1980), Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts

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John Irving


Fiction | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Academy Award (1999)

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Cathy Park Hong


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pushcart Prize, Barnard Women Poets Prize, Windham–Campbell Literature Prize

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Juan Felipe Herrera


Poetry | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop

U.S. Poet Laureate

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Whiti Hereaka


Fiction | International Writing Program

Bruce Mason Playwriting Award, Honour Award


Robin Hemley


Fiction | Nonfiction | Faculty | Nonfiction Writing Program

Guggenheim Fellowship


Robert Hass


Poetry | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (2008), U.S. Poet Laureate, National Book Award, Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets


W. David Hancock


Dramatic Writing | Playwrights Workshop

Whiting Award, Obie Award


Yaa Gyasi


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Alumni

National Book Critics Circle Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, American Book Award

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Allan Gurganus


Fiction | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Ingram Merrill Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Lambda Literary Award


Jorie Graham


Poetry | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1996), MacArthur Fellowship

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Louise Glück


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1993), Bollingen Prize in Poetry (2001), US Poet Laureate (2003–2004), National Book Award for Poetry (2014)

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Rebecca Gilman


Dramatic Writing | Playwrights Workshop

Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center Fund, Evening Standard Award, Harper Lee Award (2008),


James Galvin


Poetry | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Guggenheim Fellowship, Ingram Merrill Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, National Poetry Series


Norman Felton


Dramatic Writing | Theater

Emmy Award, Producers Guild of America Award


Hualing Nieh Engle


Fiction | Alumni | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop | International Writing Program

Distinguished Service to the Arts, Induction in the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame


Paul Engle


Poetry | Alumni | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop | International Writing Program

Guggenheim Fellowship, Yale Series of Younger Poets

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Cyprian Ekwensi


Fiction | International Writing Program

Dag Hammarskjöld International Prize in Literature


Hope Edelman


Nonfiction | Nonfiction Writing Program | Alumni

Pushcart Prize for Creative Nonfiction, New York Times Notable Book


Andre Dubus III


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Alumni

Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature


Andre Dubus


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Faculty | Alumni

Guggenheim Award, MacArthur Foundation, PEN/Malamud Award

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Rita Dove


Poetry | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1987), U.S. Poet Laureate

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Junot Diaz


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Faculty

Pulitzer Prize (2008), MacArthur Fellowship


Robert Dana


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Alumni | Faculty

Carl Sandburg Medal for Poetry, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, Rainer Maria Rilke Prize for Poetry

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John D'Agata


Poetry | Nonfiction | Alumni | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Nonfiction Writing Program

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

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Michael Cunningham


Fiction | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1999), National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, PEN/Falkner Award (1999)


Frank Conroy


Fiction | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

National Book Award nomination, Grammy Award

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Max A Collins, Jr.


Fiction | Alumni | English Department

Shamus Award (1984, 1992)


John Cochran


Journalism | Alumni | School of Journalism

Chief Correspondent for the Congress, ABC News


Rick Cleveland


Dramatic Writing | Alumni | Playwrights Workshop

Emmy Award, Writers Guild of America Award


Marquis Childs


Journalism | School of Journalism

Pulitzer Prize (1970)

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John Cheever


Fiction | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1971), National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award (1981), National Medal for Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters

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Charles d’Ambrosio


Fiction | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Whiting Award, Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Lannan Foundation Fellowship


Raymond Carver


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Guggenheim Fellowship

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Edward Carey


Fiction | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop | International Writing Program

Guggenheim Fellowship


Ethan Canin


Fiction | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, PEN West Book Prize


Robert Olen Butler


Fiction | Dramatic Writing | Alumni | Playwrights Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1993)


T. C. Boyle


Fiction | Iowa Writers' Workshop | Alumni

PEN/Faulkner Award (1988)

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Susan Boyd


Poetry | Alumni | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Stanford Fellowship


Eavan Boland


Poetry | International Writing Program | Alumni

Lannan Literary Award for Poetry


Robert Bly


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop

National Book Award for Poetry (1968)


Eula Biss


Nonfiction | Alumni | Nonfiction Writing Program

National Book Critics Circle Award


John Berryman


Poetry | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Pulitzer Prize (1965), National Book Award for Poetry (1968), Bollingen Prize (1968)

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Venise Berry


Fiction | Journalism | School of Journalism

Honor Book Award (2001)


Steve Berry


Journalism | Faculty | School of Journalism

Pulitzer Prize (1993)


Mildred Wirt Benson


Fiction | Journalism | Alumni | School of Journalism

Edgar Award (2001)

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Marvin Bell


Poetry | Alumni | Faculty | Iowa Writers' Workshop

Iowa Poet Laureate, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts

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Jo Ann Beard


Nonfiction | Alumni | Nonfiction Writing Program

Whiting Award (1997), Guggenheim Fellow (2005)


Dan Beachy-Quick


Fiction | Poetry | Nonfiction

Guggenheim Fellowship


Sebastian Barry


Fiction | Poetry | Dramatic Writing

Costa Book of the Year


John Banville


International Writing Program | Poetry

James Tait Black Memorial Prize (1976), Man Booker Prize (2005), Franz Kafka Prize (2011), Royal Society of Literature Fellow


Gun-Aajav Ayurzana


Poetry | International Writing Program

National Literary Award Altan Od (2002)


Udupi R Ananthamurthy


Fiction | Poetry | Nonfiction | Dramatic Writing | International Writing Program

Nominated, Man Booker International Prize (2013)


Karim Alrawi


Fiction | International Writing Program

John Whiting Award, Fulbright


Sherman Alexie


Poetry | Iowa Writers' Workshop

American Book Awards (1996), National Book Award (2007), PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (2010)


Taleb al-Refai


Fiction | Alumni | International Writing Program

Kuwaiti State Prize for Literature