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Amy Margolis, Senior Director, Noncredit Writing Programs, has been with the Festival since 1990, as a graduate assistant, a program assistant, an assistant director, a co-director and, since 2001, as the program’s director. This is her home. Amy received her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She’s taught fiction and nonfiction writing as part of the Festival and to undergraduates at The University of Iowa. Her short fiction appears in The Iowa Review and was recently nominated for the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. In 2016, she collaborated with writer and violinist Tricia Park, along with the Solera Quartet and writers Robin Hemley, Daniel Khalastchi, and Sabrina Orah Mark, on “Mendelssohn as Muse,” a performance piece of music and original writing inspired by the work of Felix Mendelssohn. She is currently at work on a memoir-in-shards about her life as a dancer in the late seventies, at the start of the AIDS crisis.






Kate Aspengren, Weekend Coordinator, oversees the weekend sessions for the Festival and is a long-time faculty member in the program. She encourages you to read about her educational and teaching background on her instructor page. She’s written about flight, cowgirls, whales, and apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Kate irons everything she wears. Really.