University of Iowa

The Art of Metaphor

Weekend June 16 to June 17 2018

From Melville’s white whale to Walker’s color purple. Cervantes’ windmills to Woolf’s lighthouse. Carver’s cathedral to Basho’s pond. Frost’s forked path to Naipaul’s river bend. We all recognize the precision and poignancy of these metaphors. Those crystalline choices their creators made to deeply and simultaneously etch into our minds both image and meaning.


As writers, how can we bring that kind of consciousness into the ongoing process of our own work? How can we make a single image signify and sing throughout our narratives, poems, essays? How can we start recognizing potential metaphors in both our working drafts and our everyday lives? Through varied exercises and readings, this weekend intensive offers a vibrant study and practice of this often overlooked though highly resonant element of our craft. We’ll generate scads of new material and capitalize on the opportunity to share and receive some immediate feedback. This class is open to all and will prove useful for writers of all genres.

Short Story