University of Iowa

Juliet Patterson

Recently named a finalist for the 2017 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. 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.

Instructor Events

Weekend July 14 to July 15 2018

“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?

Like virtually everything else in our era, poetry has gotten sharply political these days. Writers are responding to this turbulent moment in the country’s history with a tsunami of poems that address issues like immigration, global warming, institutionalized racism, and health care. In this generative poetry workshop, we will read from a wide variety of protest and political poems and write as if our pens were on fire.

Weeklong July 15 to July 20 2018

What innovator John D’Agata calls an oddball genre—the lyric essay combines elements of poetry and essays, relying on the former for its insistence of compression, form and thinking and the latter in its devotion to the process of discovery of fact. How these two things come together is in the eye of the beholder, so in this workshop we’ll spend our first session attempting to define the genre ourselves by reading what others have to say about the form.