Humanities Iowa has created a council conducted program in partnership with the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, titled "On the Fly". The program features interviews with great American writers connected to Iowa.
Stuart Dybek, author of I Sailed With Magellan, The Coast of Chicago and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods
Cole Swenson, author of twelve volumes of poetry, most recently "Greensward" (2010, Ugly Duckling Presse), "Ours" (University of California Press, 2008) and "The Glass Age" (Alice James Books, 2007). Her 2004 title, "Goest", was a finalist for the National Book Award; other volumes have won the Iowa Poetry Prize, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award, Sun and Moon's New American Writing Award, and the National Poetry Series.
Kevin Brockmeier, author of the novels "The Brief History of the Dead" and "The Truth About Celia". His new novel, "The Illumination", was released in February 2011
Yann Martel In 2001, he published Life of Pi, which was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2002.
Rick Bass Bass began writing short stories during lunch breaks as a petroleum geologist. He was a Story Prize finalist in 2006 for "The Lives of Rocks" and a 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for "Why I Came West."
Margo Jefferson, is a cultural critic for The New York Times. She has been a daily book reviewer, the Sunday theater critic and a Sunday Book Review columnist. In 1995 She received a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1995.
Robert Pinsky, an American poet, essayist, literary critic, and translator. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.
Ann Packer, is the author of two national bestsellers, the novels "Songs Without Words" (2007) and "The Dive from Clausen's Pier" (2002), which won a Great Lakes Book Award, an American Library Association Award and the Kate Chopin Literary Award.
Robin Hemley, the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on DO-OVER!. He has published seven books, and his stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune, and many literary magazines and anthologies.
Christopher Merrill has published four collections of poetry, including "Brilliant Water", and "Watch Fire", for which he received the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; translations of Aleš Debeljak's "Anxious Moments" and "The City and the Child"; several edited volumes, among them, "The Forgotten Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature" and "From the Faraway Nearby: Georgia O'Keeffe as Icon"; and five books of nonfiction, "The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer", "The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee", "Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars", and "Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain". His latest nonfiction work is "The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition and War", published in 2011.
Melissa Delbridge, author of Family Bible (University of Iowa Press, 2008), a memoir about coming of age in the Deep South (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) in the Sixties and Seventies.
Joseph O'Connor, author of six novels, including "Cowboys and Indians", which was short-listed for the Whitbread Prize, and the international bestseller "Star of the Sea", which won awards including the Irish Post Award for Literature and the Prix Madeleine Zepter Novel of the Year award.
Alan Gerganus, author of the novels "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All", a New York Times Bestseller, and "Plays Well with Others", as well as the collections "The Practical Heart" and "White People", winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a Pen/Faulkner finalist.
Benjamin Hale, received a University of Iowa Provost's Fellowship to write The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore, which also went on to win a Michener-Copernicus Award.
Chang-rae Lee, is a Korean American novelist and a professor of creative writing at Princeton University, where he has served as the director of Princeton's Program in Creative Writing.
Paul Harding, has published short stories in Shakepainter and The Harvard Review. Paul currently teaches creative writing at Harvard. His first novel, "Tinkers", won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Aliki Barnstone,Her volume of poems, "The Real Tin Flower", introduced by Anne Sexton (Macmillan), was published when she was twelve years old.
Jennifer Fawcett is the winner of the 2008 National Science Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center, and a 2010 Creation Fund Award from the National Performance Network.
Laura Caldwell is a former civil trial attorney, now Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Director of Life After Innocence, published author of several novels and 1 nonfiction book.
Connie Mutel has written or edited several books on Iowa's natural history, most recently "The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa" (2008); Iowa's first comprehensive environmental history, as well as "A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Iowa Floods of 2008" (2010).
Writers on Writing: Home Grown, A Video Interview with Three Local Authors: Mike Koogler, Jed Peterson, and Jaren Riley are the trio of authors featured in Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature's newest Writers on Writing: Home Grown video release entitled How We Wrote and Published Our Novel. All three writers have strong ties to Iowa and the Iowa City area, and their book, expected in early 2012, was written in Iowa over the past ten years.
Tom Simmons is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Iowa. Tom held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in poetry at Stanford University, has written nonfiction and translation, and since 1991 Tom has published four books of nonfiction: "The Unseen Shore" (Beacon Press, 1991); "A Season in the Air" (Fawcett Columbine, 1993); "Erotic Reckonings: Mastery and Apprenticeship in the Work of Poets and Lovers" (University of Illinois Press, 1994); and "Ghost Man: Reflections on Evolution, Love, and Loss" (1stBooks Publishers, 2001).
James Galvin was born in Chicago and was raised in northern Colorado. He earned a BA from Antioch College in 1974 and an MFA from the University of Iowa in 1977.
He has published several collections of poetry, including "As Is" (Copper Canyon, 2009); "X: Poems" (2003); "Resurrection Update: Collected Poems 1975-1997" (1997), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; "Lethal Frequencies" (1995); Elements (1988); "God's Mistress" (1984), which was selected for the National Poetry Series by Marvin Bell; and "Imaginary Timber" (1980).
Roberto Ampuero (Valparaíso, Chile, 1953) is a Chilean author, columnist, and Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Iowa. Ampuero, who first came to Iowa as a resident in the International Writing Program, is the author of 12 novels translated in several languages, and currently he is working on a new novel set in Berlin, New York and Valparaíso. Ampuero was selected to serve as the Chilean Ambassador to Mexico for a three-year term beginning in January 2012.
Kathryn Erskine won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for Mockingbird, featuring an eleven-year-old protagonist with Asperger’s who must process a horrific event differently than anyone else. Erskine spent many years as a lawyer before realizing that she’d rather be a writer. She grew up mostly overseas (The Netherlands, Isreal, South Africa, Scotland, Canada) and attended eight different schools. Erskine draws on her childhood, and her experience raising her own children, for her stories. In addition to the National Book Award, Mockingbird is the winner of numerous other honors including The American Library Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011) and an International Reading Association Award (2011).