University of Iowa

Robin Hemley

Robin Hemley is the author of fourteen books, including the recently published Borderline Citizen: Dispatches from the Outskirts of Nationhood (Nebraska, Penguin SE Asia). He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, former director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at The University of Iowa, and Professor Emeritus of the Nonfiction Writing Program. He is the Founder of NonfictioNOW ( and co-founder with Xu Xi of Authors at Large ( and co-editor with Leila Philip of Speculative Nonfiction ( He has taught workshops around the world and has had grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation as well as residencies at the Bellagio Center at Lake Como, The Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, The MacDowell Colony, and elsewhere. His website is You can follow him on Twitter

Instructor Events

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Robin Hemley

“Frangible” has two meanings: able to be broken up into many parts and bullets that disintegrate upon impact. We’ll be approaching the memoir this week in both senses of the word—looking at memoir and memory in terms of fragmentation, writing brief snippets of memoir in a series of exercises, and creating little explosions on the page, brief bursts that suggest more than they state explicitly. This class is designed for both poets and prose writers who are drawn less to narrative and more to suggestion and metaphor.