The 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, was published by Ice Cube Press in spring 2019.

Instructor Events

Perhaps the biggest anxiety that memoirists have is whether or not readers would be interested in the personal experiences they wish to share. It is true that there are plenty of memoirs out there about extreme events—dramatically tragic or uplifting personal experiences, stories of overcoming major obstacles, wild professional successes and/or failures, thrilling adventures, and so forth. But as I like to say, every memoir doesn’t need to be about wrestling polar bears in the Arctic.

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Thomas K. Dean

When writers (especially sighted writers) describe something, they usually depend largely, if not exclusively, on the visual. Of course, humans have four other senses that are just as—and often more—powerful as sight to depict and evoke. This generative workshop will focus on the four non-visual senses—hearing, smell, touch, and taste—and how we can use them to enrich the pallet of our description and to create more evocative writing no matter the genre. Students of all levels are welcome in this workshop.