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.
Jess Kibler is a second-year student in the Nonfiction Writing Program and the program’s current student ambassador. After graduating from Oregon State University, she worked as a bookseller at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon, and a freelance copy editor and proofreader for Tin House, Bitch Media, and Longform. Her writing has been published by Catapult and Bitch Media, and she currently writes about music, queerness, and growing up in the Pacific Northwest.
Lucy Schiller graduated from the Nonfiction Writing Program in 2018, and now serves as the program's Provost's Postgraduate Visiting Writer, a position that provides her with a fourth year of funding, to help her finish her first book. She originally came to the NWP from Grinnell College after working as a freelance writer in San Francisco and New York. Since joining the program, she has served as the Co-Editor of the Essay Review, and has published numerous essays in places like the Rumpus, New Republic, and the New Yorker.
Darius Stewart is a third-year in the NWP who comes to Iowa City from Knoxville, TN. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his M.F.A. as a Michener Fellow in poetry. He has authored three poetry chapbooks; the third, The Ghost the Night Becomes, was the 2013 winner of the Gertrude Press Poetry Chapbook Competition. Darius was an Editor of The Essay Review (2017-2018) and is currently serving as a Program Associate and chair of the textbook committee in the English Department’s GEL Program. Inspired by NWP faculty member Inara Verzemnieks and Kiese Laymon (2017 Bedell Distinguished Visiting Professor), Darius now approaches nonfiction writing with a “resurrectionist’s” methodology that he hopes will observe the physical and psychic traumas of addiction with a prose style that is spiritually resonant. Aside from the EPB, you can find him living, working, or watching HGTV from a shoe box (an efficiency apartment) in south Iowa City with his dog, Fry.