The Nonfiction Writing Program

Patricia Foster Retires

Patricia Foster

Patricia Foster celebrated her retirement after a long and distinguished tenure as a professor at the University of Iowa.

As a respected writer and teacher, known for her incredible energy, acute perception, eloquence, and razor-sharp intelligence, Foster touched the lives of many students over the past two decades at the NWP. 

“I admire her brilliance, her vitality, her compassion, and her curiosity,” says student Dina Peone. “Being in workshop with Patricia is like playing Operation with a brain surgeon. She is such an incisive reader and explorer of boundaries. She knows exactly which nerves need testing, and which delicate tissues need preserving. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat back in my seat in awe of her extractions.”

Despite her official retirement, Foster is still teaching in the program, notes program director John D’Agata, NWP ‘98. “There’s no way we’d let her go.” 

To the benefit of the NWP’s students, Foster is once again teaching her legendary seminar on the essays of Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, Jamaica Kincaid, and Richard Rodriguez this spring.


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