Join us for a creative nonfiction workshop that intentionally combines different forms of the genre—personal essays, travelogues, biographies—and encourages exploration in the genre. Participants will examine and discuss short 1-page essays, as well as receiving feedback on their personal essays. There will be also be some discussion on finding an agent and publisher, giving a reading, and surviving as a writer in the world.
Registration is strongly encouraged; 15 seats available. Registration will begin on Wednesday, October 18.
An innovative essayist (Halls of Fame, 2001) and dynamic anthologist, (The Lost Origins of the Essay, 2009) John D’Agata is the author of Halls of Fame, About a Mountain, and The Lifespan of a Fact, as well as the editor of the 3-volume series, A New History of the Essay, which includes the anthologies The Next American Essay, The Making of the American Essay, and The Lost Origins of the Essay. His work has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, an NEA Literature Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Fellowship. He holds a B.A. from Hobart College and two M.F.A.s from the University of Iowa, and recently his essays have appeared in The Believer, Harper's, Gulf Coast, and Conjunctions. John D’Agata lives in Iowa City with a dog named Boeing, and he teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa where he directs the graduate Nonfiction Writing Program.
“D’Agata . . . has spent the last 15 years trying to use the essay as Defoe used the novel: to get out of the impasse over what’s real and what’s not, and to solve the anxiety over the veracity of the media we consume, this time by foregrounding that anxiety itself, and asking us to confront it head on. His trilogy, A New History of the Essay, is a thoughtful alternative road map to how we might think of the essay and its role in the current moment.”—Los Angeles Times
“John D’Agata is a champion of the essay, a crusader for lost forms, a defender of nonfiction as an art. . . His project—that of reshaping the genre of creative nonfiction—is a bold one, and in these anthologies, the [essay] becomes a spiritual vessel, a portal to deeper truths.”—Iowa Review
“Quixotic … ambitious….What D’Agata has in mind, on one level, is to push the conversation, to throw a thought-bomb into the center of the room.”—Lit Hub
“John D’Agata is a groundbreaking literary activist. It is due to him and these anthologies that the most exciting writing today is happening in the realm of nonfiction, in particularly the realm of the essay, which he has, near-single-handedly, rescued from the literary dustbin and turned into a vital contemporary art form. A New History of the Essay is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of nonfiction.”—Heidi Julavits