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Iowa Writers Workshop Turns 75

By Harriet Staff

It seems like just yesterday the Iowa Writers workshop got caught setting off cherry bombs behind the church. Now, it’s 75 years old, and, according to this Yahoo, “remains a powerhouse in American literature.” To celebrate, the Workshop is bringing a long list of alumni to campus for readings, talks, and hopefully some awkward dancing. According to the article:

the reunion is creating tremendous buzz. Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award recipients and MacArthur Foundation “geniuses” will be among the hundreds of workshop alums in attendance.

While the program continues to adhere tradition (while bucking some contemporary trends in social media, as the article states in its title and all but abandons after a paragraph or so), some major changes have taken place over the years, as evidenced through testimony from Program Chair, Lan Samantha Chang, who states:

“I would say that in some ways our program hasn’t changed. It’s true that we’ve gone from way back when, when people would stand up and read their stories out loud to an auditorium to share their work, to mimeographs to photocopies, but basically the emphasis on writing remains the same here. The focus on writing, apart from the industry and apart from whatever kinds of media are used to carry away the product of what we do here, remains.”

As of press time, no comments have been given on what type of cake everyone has agreed on.


Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.