The University of Iowa

Mary Allen

Mary Allen is the author of a literary memoir, The Rooms of Heaven, published by Alfred A. Knopf and Vintage Books. She received an NEA grant for another book-length memoir, Awake in the Dream House. Her work has appeared in Poets & Writers, Real Simple, Library Journal, CNN On-line, Shenandoah, Tiferet Journal, The Chaos, and Beloit Fiction Journal, and in the anthology If I Don’t Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings. She won Tiferet Journal’s yearly spiritual writing contest in 2013 and received an honorable mention in that contest in 2019. She received an M.F.A. from The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and has taught in the Nonfiction Writing Program at The University of Iowa. She lives in Iowa City and is a full-time writing coach.

Instructor Events

Weeklong July 12 to July 17 2020
Instructor(s): 
Mary Allen

As anyone who has engaged with writing in any serious way knows, writing itself is essentially a spiritual endeavor. In order to write well it’s necessary to tap into the flow of spiritual energy inside each of us, whether we call that energy creativity or inspiration or something else. In this class, we’ll generate new work in an energizing, strictly positive environment, using prompts and in-class writing to explore the places in our lives where the moments and details intersect with meaning.

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Mary Allen

Our travels through life are unavoidably interesting. Whatever happens to us—a hike through the desert, a night stuck in the airport, a trip to Hawaii, a stay in the hospital—anywhere we go and anything we do there—becomes a captivating adventure if we pay close attention and turn it into a story. And turning whatever happens in our travels into something we can write about makes us pay attention to whatever’s there, while something is happening or after the fact, and that makes everything more interesting and enjoyable; even the hard stuff becomes easier.