University of Iowa

The Inventive Female Voice

Weeklong July 15 to July 20 2018


Women have produced some of the most inventive writing of the last century. This class will take its cues from writers such as Virginia Woolf, and Gertrude Stein—both of whom boldly subverted traditional sentence structure, logic, and narrative to create forms that rang true to their experience of the world. We’ll touch base with Gloria Anzaldua and Theresa Cha, hybrid writers who crafted fierce political and personal tomes out of the everyday scraps: recipes, worksheets, songs, photographs, and letters to government officials. Our questions: How can women find a frame that fits our unruly experiences of self and body? How do we milk the interruptions, the stolen moments common to our experience as writers? How can we begin to make and break our own rules? This class will be multi-genre, and generative, though time will be allotted to workshop pre-existing pieces. This class welcomes writers of all levels, those who already experiment to those who want to play, explore, and invent.


“Woman must put herself into the text -- as into the world and into history -- by her own movement.”     Hélène Cixous

Short Story