The University of Iowa

Jim Heynen

Jim Heynen is best known for his short-short stories: The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap (Graywolf 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. His short-shorts are widely anthologized; the most recent appears in the 2018 Norton anthology: New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction.

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) as well as 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 20 to June 21 2020
Jim Heynen

In this workshop, we’ll confront the challenge of writing emotional scenes—or emotional moments—whether they are in fiction, nonfiction or poetry. How can we be sincere about our own or a character’s emotions without appearing sentimental or garish? We’ll confront some of these challenging questions, we’ll look at some successful models, and we’ll see if we can apply successful techniques while still being true to the emotions we hope to deliver to our readers. The goal will be to write some prize-winning emotionally charged moments in whatever form you choose.