Happy Anniversary, Iowa Writers’ Workshop

In an article for the Christian Science Monitor, alumnus Robert A. Lehrman reports on the 75th anniversary celebration of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, America’s first and arguably most prestigious graduate program in creative-writing. Lehrman also interviews people on the future of writing, in a world where allegedly only forty-two percent of college graduates will read another book, cover to cover, after receiving their diplomas.

Does writing still matter? And do MFA programs like the University of Iowa’s create “cookie-cutter” literature? Lehrman’s article seems to reply, respectively, “Probably, at least to writers” and “No.” But what do you think?

Did you know there’s an online literary journal called MFA/MFYou, that juxtaposes the work of MFAs with non-MFAs? I don’t think they’re trying to resolve a great debate, but it’s an interesting approach to publishing.

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About poetsguide

A former altar boy and a former U.S. Army interrogator, respectively, John F. Buckley and Martin Ott were born and raised in Michigan, meeting each other at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor before separately migrating to California in the early 1990s to attend graduate schools, their friendship evolving into a writing collaboration – what they refer to as poetic volleyball. They both currently live in Southern California, John with his wife, Martin with his wife and two children. John teaches English composition at several local colleges, while Martin works as a marketing strategist for a global company. John still affects a strange piety; Martin still finds himself asking a lot of questions. Individually and together, their writing has appeared in over 150 periodicals and anthologies, garnering three Pushcart Prize nominations for Martin’s poems “India Ivy” and “When Bridges Fall” (available in his collection Children of Interrogation, which has been a finalist or semi-finalist in eighteen poetry prizes) and John’s “Poem for Christy’s Daughter” (available in his collection Kinks in the Hose). Martin has also optioned three screenplays. His chapbook Misery Loves was published on Red Dancefloor Press. John’s chapbook Breach Birth was published on Propaganda Press.
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