University of Iowa

Jim Heynen

Press; You Know What is Right, North Point Press; The One-room Schoolhouse, Knopf; The Boys’ House, Minnesota Historical Society Press; and Ordinary Sins, Milkweed Editions). Many of these stories have been read on NPR’s All Things Considered, and Minnesota astronaut George Pinky Nelson took a recording of Heynen’s stories for bedtime listening on his last space mission.


Heynen has also published three novels (The Fall of Alice K., Milkweed Editions; Cosmos Coyote and William the Nice, YA, Henry Holt; and Being Youngest, YA, Henry Holt) and several collections of poetry, including A Suitable Church, Copper Canyon Press and Standing Naked: New and Selected Poems, Confluence Press. He wrote prose vignettes for two photography books published by the University of Iowa Press, Harker’s Barns and Sunday Afternoon on the Porch. His major nonfiction book, One Hundred Over 100, Fulcrum Publishers, featured 100 American centenarians. For many years he was Writer-in-Residence at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He has been awarded National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in both poetry and fiction.

Instructor Events

Weekend June 23 to June 24 2018

In this workshop, we’ll confront the challenge of writing emotional scenes—or emotional moments—whether they are in fiction, nonfiction or poetry. We’ll practice bitter anger, ecstatic happiness, heart-wrenching sadness, and even hair-raising fear or horror. We’ll look at some successfully written emotional moments in published literature to see what makes them work. We’ll also look at a few clunkers to see why some attempts at writing emotions don’t work. We might even use the strategy of writing a few fake emotional scenes to warm up!

Weeklong June 24 to June 29 2018

This workshop will begin with life experience, but we’ll use what we remember as a springboard for imaginative verbal adventures. The moment we give our attention to form, whether that be in the music and repetition we associate with poetry or the structure and narrative progression we associate with fiction, what we thought was only a memory can take on new and unexpected life.