Writers’ Workshop to celebrate 75 years with visiting authors

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Jane Smiley sat in class in the English and Philosophy Building years ago, striving to learn from the accomplished authors leading her classes at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

“When teachers come, usually they are writers who made a name for themselves, so they have very different styles, and they didn’t really have a theory about teaching,” Smiley said.

Now, Smiley, who received an M.F.A. in 1976 from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, holds a Pulitzer Prize — one of 17 Pulitzer Prize winners to graduate from the program.

And she will be one of 50 writers — Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright scholars, and U.S. poet laureates among them — to return to Iowa City June 9 to celebrate the Workshop’s 75th anniversary.

Organizers have been planning the event for a year, and the four-day reunion will include live music, dancing, readings, and even a Sunday morning softball game — “Poets versus Fiction Writers.” PBS’ “Newshour” aired a special on the Workshop’s anniversary on April 7. Continue reading Writers’ Workshop to celebrate 75 years with visiting authors

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