Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good Iowa City novelists who didn't study or teach at the Workshop

Yes, UNESCO recently named Iowa City as an international City of Literature. And, yes, that designation for the most part is due to the many famous names that have come through the Iowa Writers’ Workshop: from Marvin Bell to Kurt Vonnegut.

But lately I’ve been interested in documenting a literary history of Iowa City that is not directly tied to the Workshop. I’m interested in good novelists (a subjective category, I’ll confess) who spent significant time in Iowa City for reasons other than to teach or study at the Workshop — even if the novelist spent all his or her free time at the Foxhead trying to pick up Workshop lessons through osmosis.

The list of such novelists that I have right now include:

* Leslie Pietrzyk (a novelist who was born and raised in Iowa City but no longer lives here): “Pears on a Willow Tree” and “A Year and a Day.”

* Sarah Prineas (a young adult novelist who lives in town): “The Magic Thief.”

* Bart Yates (an Iowa City area musician): “Leave Myself Behind,” “The Brothers Bishop” and “The Distance Between Us.”

If you have anyone to add to this list, please post a comment or drop me a line at

No comments:

Post a Comment