University of Iowa

Thomas K. Dean

Thomas K. Dean (Ph.D., The University of Iowa) is Senior Presidential Writer/Editor at The University of Iowa, where he also teaches interdisciplinary courses. He has taught writing, literature, and interdisciplinary subjects at Cardinal Stritch College (Milwaukee), Michigan State University, and Moorhead State University (Minnesota). Dean’s essays appear in regional and national publications. His books include The Grace of Grass and Water: Writing in Honor of Paul Gruchow (edited collection, Ice Cube Press, 2007) and Under a Midland Sky (memoir/personal essays, Ice Cube Press, 2008). Tallgrass Conversations: In Search of the Prairie Spirit, a collection of essays and photographs co-authored with Cindy Crosby, is being published by Ice Cube Press in spring 2019.

Instructor Events

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Thomas K. Dean

The late 19th-century American novelist Frank Norris titled one of his critical essays “Fiction Is Selection.” The same holds true for memoir. When we tell stories from our lives—whether it’s in a short essay, a series of essays, a memoir, or even a full-blown autobiography—we must be selective in what we tell in large part to give our story a shape. What that shape might or should be is one of the biggest questions memoirists and essayists wrestle with. The “shape” of a memoir encompasses a range of issues: Where should the memoir begin and end?

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Thomas K. Dean

Most writers want to write sentences that are clear and that communicate their intended meaning well. Certainly editors are looking for that! Much of a writer’s creativity lies in his or her talent for choosing words imaginatively. But much of your style also depends on some technicalities about what kind of word forms you choose and where you put them in your sentences.