The University of Iowa

Timothy Bascom

 Tim Bascom is the author of the memoir Running to the Fire (University of Iowa Press, 2015), which is about coming of age as the son of missionaries in Ethiopia during a Marxist Revolution. His earlier memoir, Chameleon Days (Houghton Mifflin), won the Bakeless Literary Prize. He is also the author of a collection of essays and a novel. His writing has won editor’s prizes at The Missouri Review and Florida Review and been anthologized in Best Creative Nonfiction and Best American Travel Writing. Bascom, who received his M.F.A. from The University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program, is Director of Creative Writing at Waldorf University.

Instructor Events

Weeklong June 14 to June 19 2020
Instructor(s): 
Timothy Bascom

When we write memoirs or personal essays, we inevitably find ourselves depicting those who have had the most influence in our lives— our family members. To understand the self, we must understand them. Take a look at a shelf of memoirs, and you will see just how vital those relationships are—in Vivian Gornick’s Fierce Attachments or Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home or Geoffrey Wolff’s Duke of Deception or Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family.

Weekend June 20 to June 21 2020
Instructor(s): 
Timothy Bascom

According to art critic Herbert Read, “True art persists as an object of contemplation.” One of the reasons it has this capacity to hold our attention—like the note of a tuning fork after it has been struck—is that it has been created out of contemplation. The contemplative essay, also called the reflective essay, is characterized by an intense and concentrated focus. The author tends to circle a subject, spiraling away and dropping back to describe it from all angles and to plumb it for further meaning.