The University of Iowa

Juliet Patterson

Recently named a finalist for the Audre Lorde Award in Poetry, Juliet Patterson is the recipient of fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Minneapolis-based Institute for Community and Cultural Development. Other awards include the 2011 Arts & Letters Susan Atefat Prize in non-fiction, and the 2010 Lynda Hull Memorial Poetry Prize. She’s the author of two full-length books, Threnody, (Nightboat Books) and the Lambda Award finalist The Truant Lover (Nightboat Books). Her poems and essays have appeared widely in numerous magazines, and she’s also published two chapbooks (one prose and one poetry): Epilogue (Spout Press) and Dirge (Albion Books). Her most recent writing project—a memoir in progress entitled Sinkhole—was a 2017 finalist for a Loft-McKnight Award and is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. She lives in Minneapolis on the west bank of the Mississippi near the Great River Road.


Instructor Events

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Juliet Patterson

“It sounds like a simple thing to say what you see,” Mark Doty has written. “But try to find the words for the shades of a mottled sassafras leaf or the reflectivity of a bay on an August morning.” In this workshop, we’ll take refuge in the sensory experience found in some contemporary writing, as a way of thinking about a number of questions: How does description contain or convey meaning? What do we do when we describe something? Reproduce, account for, portray, trace, parcel out? How does one take the measure of the external world, and what can it mean for our writing?