The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Back in Iowa (preview)

with 4 comments

I’m kicking it in Iowa City right now.  I showed up this afternoon after a windy and contentious drive from Chicago, and have already unpacked and rode my bike around University of Iowa.  It’s nice to be back, and by “be back” I mean it’s nice to return to where the whole writing thing pretty much started rolling for me ten years ago.

Iowa hosts their Summer Writing Festival each year to bring in aspiring writers from around the country and maintain their reputation as the cradle of American literature.  I learned of the festival in 2004 and decided to give it a try, and based on my positive experience decided that I wanted to do more writing–like, “get another masters degree” more writing.  So I did, and now I’m back here in a poetry workshop for most of the summer.

I had to audition for this one; it going far beyond the general cattle call of the writing festival.  So I sent off a fiction portfolio and a poetry portfolio since there is a workshop offered in both.  I was cocky enough to think I’d be accepted into both of them, but I was only half right.  I got word that I was accepted into the poetry workshop, and here I am.  And here I’ll be for the most part until August 4.

I’m looking at this as a big step as a writer–bigger than the last time I spent a good chunk of summer on a college campus.  I’ll finally get some solid, structured instruction in writing poetry.  I’ve pretty much pottered around with the genre the last nine years, kind of keeping it as my “left-handed” skill.  I’ve read The Writer’s Almanac each day, instructed my students in some of the fundamentals of writing poetry, written a lot of crappy poems, a small amount of mediocre poems, and at least ten pretty decent poems that spoke well enough on my behalf to get me here.

I’m eager to get started.  This is a graduate-level, non-credit workshop, and as such, I’m mighty curious about who the hell takes classes like this.  Who works at the grad level, but doesn’t need the credit?  Who can afford to take the time, much less pay the tuition and board himself for seven weeks?  The answers await, along with other answers about how, exactly, one writes poetry.

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Written by seeker70

June 15, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Looking forward to this serial 🙂

    Andrew Burd

    June 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm

  2. […] when I was out in Iowa last summer, which I may have written about herein, I dusted off the old thesis.  By “dusted off,” I mean that I edited the holy hell out […]

  3. […] Yesterday’s post about longevity and mortality brought to mind a poem I wrote last summer when I was in Iowa.  I may have mentioned the trip herein. […]

  4. […] work shopped it first thing when I was out in Iowa two years ago, and was taken aback at how freakin’ serious everybody took it.  It’s supposed to be […]


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