The Nonfiction Writing Program

“Deeply Felt” Trounces “Infinite Jeff” in Annual NWP Bowling Tournament

Team Deeply Felt

The NWP’s workshops competed against each other this fall in yet another contest of cutthroat literary bowling. The 82nd Annual NWP Bowling Tournament kicked off in October despite most participants questioning the accuracy of the tournament’s history. 

“Most people don’t realize that 80 years ago, when Flannery O’Connor was at Iowa as a student,” explained director John D’Agata, NWP ’98, “she decided to study fiction instead of nonfiction because she knew she was a really lousy bowler. It’s history; look it up.” 

What we know for certain is that bowling has long enjoyed a rich and storied history in the essayistic tradition, with historical accounts of Michel de Montaigne pausing from his writing to launch a few balls down the lane. The NWP’s tournament is held each year at Iowa City’s Colonial Lanes, an establishment well-known for the high caliber of its bowlers, with many NWP students among them. 

This fall, team “Deeply Felt,” led by the fearless Inara Verzemnieks, NWP ’13, beat Jeff Porter’s workshop team, “Infinite Jeff” (a pun on David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.) 

According to Verzemnieks, “Deeply Felt lived up to their name. Everyone gave 110 percent. They left everything on the floor. I couldn’t be more proud of these writer/athletes.” She adds: “Also I am extremely grateful they didn’t try to laugh at me when I attempted to deliver sincere motivational speeches, cribbed from my soccer coaching days and incorporating quotes from Annie Dillard. Class acts, every one of them.” 

Per tradition, the winners of the Annual NWP Bowling Tournament were served an extravagant workshop snack by the losing team.

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