The University of Iowa

James McKean

James McKean (M.F.A., The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop; Ph.D., The University of Iowa) writes nonfiction and poetry. His poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and Poetry Northwest among others, and have been featured in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. His nonfiction has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Gray’s Sporting Journal, The Gettysburg Review, and The Iowa Review, and his essays have been reprinted in The Best American Sports Writing 2003 and the 2006 Pushcart Prize anthology. He has published three books of poems, Headlong (1987), Tree of Heaven (1995) and We Are the Bus (2011), and two book of essays, Home Stand: Growing Up in Sports (2005) and Bound, recently published by Truman State University Press. A Professor Emeritus at Mount Mercy University, he still teaches for the Queens University low-residency M.F.A. program, the Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop and, most recently, as a visiting professor in The University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program.

Instructor Events

Weeklong June 21 to June 26 2020
James McKean

This workshop is based on the premise that the whole story is made up of parts, that writing memoir starts with a compilation of many pieces—episodes or anecdotes or vignettes or moments held in memory. Designed for those who are in the process of connecting these moments, this workshop will look at ways to “fashion a text” as Annie Dillard says, from “fragmentary patches of color and feeling.” The workshop is especially well-suited for those trying to write about family with its many competing voices.