Even though we’re situated in the middle of the country, the Nonfiction Writing Program has a distinctly international flavor. The program has been home to students from Poland, New Zealand, Cuba, South Korea, Turkey, The Philippines, Norway, Guam, Russia, Mexico, France, Columbia, India, Canada, and the U.K., as well as Kansas, New Mexico, Minnesota, New York, Kentucky, Los Angeles, Oregon, Alabama, and Washington, DC.
Sometimes our students come to the program right out of college, and sometimes they’ve had careers in other fields for a number of years, such as journalism, law, education, and science. We aim to bring in as diverse a group of students with as many different life experiences as possible. We think it helps enrich our discussions in and out of the classroom.
If you’d like to chat with some of our students about their experiences in the program, feel free to write to these folks who have volunteered to field your questions.
Hannah Bonner is a current creative nonfiction MFA student at the University of Iowa. She has an MA in Film Studies from the University of Iowa and a BA in English & Creative Writing from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Asheville Poetry Review, Bear Review, Pigeon Pages, Rattle, Schlag, So to Speak, The Carolina Quarterly, The Hopkins Review, The North Carolina Literary Review, The Pinch Journal, The Vassar Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, TriQuarterly, and Two Peach.
Her essays have been featured, or are forthcoming, in Bright Wall/Dark Room, Essay Daily, The Rumpus, and VIDA. Her academic publications include "Performing Archives in the Present: Exploring Feminist Performance Art, The Politics of (In)Visibility, and the Archive in #MeToo and #TimesUp" in South Central Review, "#Selfveillance: Horror's Slut Shaming through Social Media, Sur-, and Selfveillance" in Emerald Press, and "Social Media as Authorship and Selfveillance in Girls" in Routledge.
She currently serves as the Poetry Editor for Brink.
Spencer Jones is an MFA candidate in UI's Nonfiction Writing Program. Her essay "On Sex and Grammar" won Porter House Review's 2021 Editor's Prize for Nonfiction. Her essay "Cease and Desist" is forthcoming (2022) in Relief: A Journal of Art and Faith.
Before coming to the University of Iowa, Spencer taught seven years of high school History, English, and Theology at Catholic and Episcopal schools in Boston and Greenville, SC. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University and a B.A. in Sociology and Education from Swarthmore College.
Spencer currently serves as an instructor in the Rhetoric Department at the University of Iowa.
Liv Kane is a nonfiction writer and filmmaker interested in exploring the intersections between community storytelling and ecology. She served as the inaugural Writer-in-Residence at the San Antonio Public Library and received the New York Life Award for her work in 2019. A graduate of Kenyon College in English and Film, she worked as a Kenyon Review intern under Nicole Terez-Dutton. Kane published her first essay collection, Gulfwater: some aftermaths, with Sunset Press in 2021.
She is currently pursuing her MFA in Nonfiction at the University of Iowa, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow.
Grace Morse is a bilingual essay writer and current student in the Nonfiction Writing Program. Originally from New Orleans, Grace has traveled the world as a student of the essay; she is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was awarded the Thomas Wolfe Scholarship for creative writing, and she has also studied literature and the essay form at the National University of Ireland, Galway and La Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Grace's writing explores her relationship to her Black identity, her experience as a southern, U.S. woman, educational equity, and romantic and platonic love. She is also passionate about translation and interpretation.
Spencer Wilkins is a writer and secret sound engineer (don't tell anyone) from New Jersey. His latest project, a video essay, was selected for TCBFF (Twin Cities Black Film Festival) and GCUFF (Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival). In print, his writing has appeared in Southeast Review, Essay Daily, and Puerto del Sol. He's currently working on a mixed media gallery "adaptations" at the University of Iowa and conspiring on how to land an interview with Nick Jonas.