The University of Iowa

Diana Goetsch

Diana Goetsch is the author of eight collections of poems, dozens of nonfiction features and articles, and is currently at work on a memoir forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Her writing has appeared in leading journals, anthologies and newspapers including The New Yorker, Poetry, Gettysburg Review, The American Scholar, the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune, Best American Poetry, and the Pushcart Prize. Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Grace Paley Teaching Fellowship at The New School, and the Donald Murray prize for writing pedagogy. She has taught in M.F.A. programs, public schools, prisons, living rooms and, for 19 years, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Her website is www.dianagoetsch.com

Instructor Events

Weekend June 20 to June 21 2020
Instructor(s): 
Diana Goetsch

A two-day immersion in the act of generating poetry, in the presence of a veteran, award-winning poet known for generously sharing her practice. We’ll look at the many ways poems can arrive, and how we can cultivate our receptivity to them. We will learn ways to broaden our range—in terms of voice, style, and subject—and ways to approach elusive or overwhelming material.

Weeklong June 21 to June 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Diana Goetsch

Most of us write a first draft the same way every time no matter the subject. We fall into habitual patterns that either become unconscious, or get mistaken for our “voice.” It is a lot like social dancing: there are countless ways to move in space, yet we wind up doing the same tired frat boy two-step to every song. The Free-Writing Intensive is a weeklong training session in a skill that is vital, yet rarely taught or practiced: the act of filling a page.

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Diana Goetsch

Memoir writing confronts us with two sources of overwhelm: 1) the complexity of life; 2) the complexity of writing. These complexities are like whirlpools we can’t afford not to enter, lest we wind up with breezy prose. At the same time, we can’t afford to drown in them, lest we offload our problems and traumas onto the reader. The antidote to overwhelm is narrowing—in scope, in scale, but most of all, in finding points of entry. It is a principle as old as Proust’s “madeleine moment,” that portal through which the French writer entered a five-volume masterpiece.