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The Program Era Project: Limning the depths of the Iowa Writers' Workshop's literary influence

Apr 23, 2021
marked up writing

If you were to mention "Iowa" to someone who has never visited the state, chances are good that their first association would be "Writers' Workshop"—especially if they love American literature.

The Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa is the premier creative writing MFA program in the nation, and has graduated U.S. poets laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction and poetry, National Book Award winners, and other recipients of the nation's highest literary honors. In 2021 alone, Writers' Workshop alumni and a former professor won seven top awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, including the Gold Medal for Poetry, the academy’s highest honor for excellence in the arts, awarded to Rita Dove (1977 MFA). It is safe to say that the Workshop is the university's, and perhaps the state's, proudest and best-known achievement.