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Recent and Upcoming Workshops and Events


IPA Fall 2022 In-person Workshop

Saturday October 29, 2022
Located in the Speed Lyceum at Grand View University
2811 E 14th St, Des Moines

We are providing hybrid access allowing participants to either attend in person or via Zoom. Please arrive at 8:30 a.m. to sign in. Our day will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the workshop schedule divided into morning and afternoon sessions with a break for lunch and brief business meeting.

The Deadline for submitting poems will be October 1st. Critics will prepare written critiques, which will be returned to the authors (either online or via USPS) in advance of the workshop. We will also email a pdf of the set of workshop poems to participants and printed copies to those who choose to participate in person. A detailed schedule for the workshop day, along with the Zoom credentials for those choosing to attend remotely, will be sent on October 24. Registration form

Pricing for the workshop is as follows:

  • In-person attendees: $30.
    This includes $5 for poem to be critiqued, $5 for technology, $5 for the venue plus $15 for the cost of food.
  • Zoom attendees: $10.
    This includes $5 for poem to be critiqued plus a $5 fee for technology.

Box Lunches will be provided for in-person attendees. Please select your preference on the registration form. If you dietary restrictions, please contact Julie Allyn Johnson at bjohnsonisu@gmail.com.

As you consider which poem you might submit (20 lines or shorter), remember you will benefit most if you 1) send a poem that you are struggling with, not a "finished" piece; 2) come prepared to learn from comments about others' poems, too; 3) know that comments by either critics or workshoppers can be sifted and applied, or not, as YOU choose. It's your poem!

We are pleased to announce the critics for the fall workshop are Laura Johnson and William Rudolph.

Laura Johnson is a poet and writer in Eastern Iowa who is a founding co-editor of the literary journal Backchannels. Laura is an MFA candidate at the University of New Orleans and is a graduate (Ba, MA) of the University of Iowa. Laura's poetry and short fiction has appeared in Goat's Milk Magazine, The Dewdrop, Thimble Literary Magazine, and Wild Roof Journal, among others. Laura has spent more than twenty years teaching and facilitating creative writing courses and groups for teen and adult writers. She is a literacy and writing specialist who believes everyone's story should be heard. Laura's debut chapbook, Memento Vivere (Cabin Bear Books), is available at http://laurajohnsonwriter.com and wherever you buy books.
William Rudolph--whose poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, The North American Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry East, Quarterly West, Rattle, Rosebud, The South Dakota Review, Steam Ticket, and dozens of other journals--taught writing and literature at Grinnell High school for more than 20 years. Bill earned his MFA in Poetry from Vermont College--where his mentors included Mark Cox, Jody Glading, Leslie Ullman, and Roger Weingarten; Bill also studied poetry at Breadloaf under Craig Arnold and Ed Hirsch, as well as during University of Iowa workshops with Jane Mead and Katie Ford. Currently, he coaches student writers in both Grinnell College's Writing, Reading, and Speaking Center and GC's Liberal Arts in Prison Program.

If you have questions and/or comments, please connect at ipa@iowapoetry.com or Julie Allyn Johnson, Spring/Fall Workshop Coordinator, bjohnsonisu@gmail.com

Email poems to ipa@iowapoetry.com. You may use the registration form included with the August newsletter or print out and complete the form available here. Please indicate whether you plan to attend in person or remotely. Send checks for $30 or $10, respectively, made out to "Iowa Poetry Association" and mail them to Iowa Poetry Association, 16096 320th Way, Earlham, IA 50072. If you do not have email, you may include your poem with form and check. Submission deadline: October 1.


IPA Spring 2022 Online Workshop

IPA's Spring Workshop was held on online Saturday, April 30th. The thirty poems submitted were read by Jerrold Narland and Shelly Reed Thieman, with creative comments and suggestions for consideration offered by our two critics, Vince Gotera and Rachel Morgan.

About our critics:
Vince Gotera teaches at the University of Northern Iowa, where he was Editor of the North American Review (2000-2016). He is also former Editor of Star*Line, the print journal of the international Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (2017-2020). His poetry collections include Dragonfly, Ghost Wars, Fighting Kite, The Coolest Month, and the upcoming Pacific Crossing. Recent poems appeared in Altered Reality Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, Dreams & Nightmares, The Ekphrastic Review, Philippines Graphic (Philippines), Rosebud, The Wild Word (Germany) and the anthologies Multiverse (UK), Dear America, and Hay(na)ku 15. He blogs at The Man with the Blue Guitar (http://vincegotera.blogspot.com).

Rachel Morgan is the author of the chapbook, Honey & Blood, Blood & Honey (Final Thursday Press, 2017). Her work is included in the anthology Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America (Ice Cube Press, 2016). Her work recently appears or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Fence, Prairie Schooner, Denver Quarterly, Salt Hill, The Laurel Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Mid-American Review, DIAGRAM, and Barrow Street. Her work has been nominated for the Best of the Net and a Pushcart. She was a finalist for 2017 National Poetry Series. Currently she teaches at the University of Northern Iowa and is the Poetry Editor for the North American Review. She is a 2020 recipient of a residency at Gullkistan, Center for Creativity in Iceland and the winner of the 2020 Fineline Competition.


IPA Fall 2021 Online Workshop

IPA's Fall Workshop was held on Saturday, October 23rd. The thirty-six poems submitted were read by Jerrold Narland and Shelly Reed Thieman, with many thoughtful comments and expert suggestions offered by our two critics, Debra Marquart and Jared Pearce. After lunch break, a short business meeting, then readings by our critics, preceded the critiques for the afternoon session.

About our critics:
Debra Marquart is a memoirist, poet, and performing musician. She is the author of six books, including a collection of poems, Small Buried Things: Poems (New Rivers Press 2015), and the environmental memoir The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere (Counterpoint 2006). A singer/songwriter, she continues to perform music solo and with her jazz-poetry performance project, The Bone People, with whom she has recorded two CDs. Marquart is the Senior Editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment, and teaches in Iowa State University's interdisciplinary MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment and in the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. Her newest collection of poetry, Gratitude with Dogs Under Stars: New & Collected Poems, is forthcoming in 2021, as well as a collection of essays. She was appointed as the Poet Laureate of Iowa in 2019. In 2021, she received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship. More at debramarquart.com

Jared Pearce teaches writing and literature at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa. His books include The Annotated Murder of One (Aubade 2018) and, recently released, Down Their Spears (Cyberwit 2021). Sample poems and further information can be found at his website at jaredpearcepoetry.weebly.com".


IPA Spring 2021 Online Workshop

IPA's Spring Workshop was held on Saturday, April 24. The twenty-eight poems submitted were read by Dennis Maulsby and Shelly Reed Thieman.

About our critics:
Paul Brooke returns for a third time as IPA workshop critic. Dr. Paul Brooke is a Professor of English at Grand View University in Des Moines, IA. His poetry has been featured in such journals as the North American Review, The Antioch Review, Rocky Mountain Review, Flyway, International Poetry Review, Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, and the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature and the Environment. His work has won numerous awards including being nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. His long poem, "The Skald and Drukken Trollaukin," an interconnected series of Norse form poems, was selected second place and included in the 64 Best Poets of 2018. Read more at Paul's website.

Allison Boyd Justus grew up in the shadow of Ben Lomand Mountain in Warren County, Tennessee. She once spent a year watching sunrises. Previously a public school gifted education facilitator, Allison is teacher, consultant, and MFA candidate at Iowa State University. She is the author of Solstice to Solstice to Solstice (Alternating Current Press, 2017), has work featured Darkness is as Light from Park End Press, and is a finalist for the 2017 Rita Dove Prize in Poetry. See her poetry and more at www.allisonboyjustus.com.


IPA Fall 2020 Online Workshop

Our Fall Online Workshop was a success with a total of thirty poems, read by Dennis Maulsby and Shelly Reed Thieman, and discussed by our two critics, Margaret LeMay and Kyle McCord. The session began with brief introductions of participants, then readings, commentaries and discussions of the first half of the poems submitted. After breaking for lunch, we resumed at 12:45 with a brief business meeting, followed by readings by our two critics. Discussion and readings of the remaining poems then continued. Thank you to Dawn Terpstra, IPA's workshop chair, for taking care of the technical details for our Zoom workshop and organizing a great day of poetry!

Here are poems referenced by Kyle McCord during his discussions:

Kyle McCord returned for a third time as IPA workshop critic. He is the author of five books of poetry including National Poetry Series Finalist, Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders (Trio House Press 2016). Kyle has work featured or forthcoming in AGNI, Blackbird, Boston Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly and elsewhere. He was received grants or awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Baltic Writing Residency. He holds an M.F.A. from University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. He served as associate poetry editor of The Nation and currently serves as Co-Executive Editor of Gold Wake Press. He is married to the visual artist Lydia McCord. Kyle teaches in Des Moines, Iowa.

Margaret LeMay has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, the East Harlem Tutorial Project, and elsewhere. She is the founding director of the Examined Life Conference and the Writing and Humanities Program at the Carver College of Medicine. Her poems have appeared in publications that include Another Chicago Magazine, The Asian Pacific American Journal, Better, The Cortland Review, Little Village and Transom, and her work was among semi-finalists for the Discovery/Boston Review prize and finalists for the Four Way Books Levis Prize. Her poem "The Heart Wakes Into" served as title and six movement subtitles for a piano quintet commissioned by and performed at the Library of Congress. She currently teaches poetry and creative writing at Coe College and she is a freelance writer in medicine and healthcare. Margaret holds a B.A. from Barnard College and an M.F.A. in poetry writing from The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.



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IMPORTANT: SPRING WORKSHOP 2020 moved to Email

Due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus in our community, we did not hold the physical meeting of our workshop this April 25th, but continued with a critique of poems.

Poems submitted for critique by the April 1st deadline were sent out to our two critics, whose written comments on the poems were returned to the authors. The cost was $4 (regular cost of workshop without lunch).

Critics: Jeanne Emmons and Rustin Larson

Jeanne Emmons has published four collections of poetry: The Red Canoe (Finishing Line Press); The Glove of the World,winner of the Backwaters Press Reader's Choice Award; Baseball Nights and DDT (Pecan Grove Press); and Rootbound, winner of the New Rivers Press Minnesota Voices Competition. Her poems have won the Comstock poetry prize, the South Coast Review Poetry Award, the James Hearst Poetry Award, and the Sow's Ear poetry award, among others. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, American Scholar, Carolina Quarterly, Louisiana Literature, North American Review, River Styx,South Carolina Review, South Dakota Review, and other journals. She is poetry editor of The Briar Cliff Review.

Rustin Larson's poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, North American Review, Poetry East, and The American Entomologist Poet's Guide to the Orders of Insects among other journals. He is the author of The Wine-Dark House (Blue Light Press, 2009), Crazy Star (selected for the Loess Hills Book's Poetry Series in 2005), Bum Cantos, Winter Jazz, & The Collected Discography of Morning, winner of the 2013 Blue Light Book Award (Blue Light Press, San Francisco), The Philosopher Savant (Glass Lyre Press, 2015) and Pavement, winner of the 2016 Blue Light Poetry Prize. He has also published fiction in The Wapsipinicon Almanac. He is Professor in the MFA Creative Writing program at Maharishi University and teaches Composition and Elements of Writing at Kirkwood Community College.



IPA Fall Workshop - Sat. Oct. 26th, 2019

At Windsor Heights Lutheran Church - 1240 66th St., Windsor Heights

Critics: Rachel Morgan and Bill Rudolph

Rachel Morgan is the author of the chapbook, Honey & Blood, Blood & Honey (Final Thursday Press 2017). She is a co-editor of Fire Under the Moon: An Anthology of Contemporary Slovene Poetry (Black Dirt Press, 1999) and her work is included in the anthology, Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America (Ice Cube Press 2016). Recent poems appear in Crazyhorse, Fence, Prairie Schooner, Boulevard, Denver Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. Currently she teaches at the University of Northern Iowa and is the Poetry Editor for the North American Reviewwww.rachelmorganpoet.com
Bill Rudolph, former IPA president, earned his MFA from Vermont College--studying under mentors Mark Cox, Jody Glading, Leslie Ullman, and Roger Weingarten. Bill’s poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, The English Journal, The Nebraska Review, The North American Review, Quarterly West, Rattle, Rosebud, Slant, The South Dakota Review, Steam Ticket, and other literary journals. Bill enjoys good jazz, good poetry, good tennis, good libations, good conversation, and that never-ending quest for an adjective more apt than "good." For over twenty years, Bill taught secondary writing and literature; now, he coaches student writers at Grinnell College and in GC's Liberal Arts in Prison Program.
Julie Sharp Emmons, Jeff Grimes, Pat Underwood, IPA Secretary Maggie Westvold and Joyce Allen, Lynn Robbins in back
Delia Ralston, Virginia Mortenson, Lucy Ringold, Heather Ann Clark, Joan Jessen Waske in back
Warren Reinecke, Norman Wolfe, Debbie Miller, Myrna Sandvik in back

Reader Dennis Maulsby

Reader Dawn Sly-Terpstra

IPA Communications Shelly Reed Thieman
and IPA Hospitality Stephanie Novotny

Thank you to Maxine Carlson for providing the photos of our Fall Workshop 2019.

IPA Youth Poetry Celebration - Sat. June 15th, 2019

Iowa Poetry Association Student Contest Winners of the 2019 Lyrical Iowa Poetry Competition were invited to read their winning poems in a Special Celebration of Iowa Youth Poetry at the State Historical Museum of Iowa Auditorium 600 East Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday June 15th, 2019. Fourteen students participated, reading their winning poems to an audience of about seventy (family, friends, teachers, IPA board members).



IPA Spring Workshop - Sat. Apr. 27th, 2019

At Windsor Heights Lutheran Church - 1240 66th St., Windsor Heights

Critics: Crystal Stone and Robert Tremmel

Thank you to Maxine Carlson for providing the following photos of our Spring Workshop 2019.





President Jerry Narland with Crystal Stone, Dawn Sly-Terpstra, Robert Tremmel and Dennis Maulsby
Stephanie Novotny, Hospitality, Shelly Thieman, Communications, Jerry Narland, President
Lucille Morgan Wilson, Past-Editor, IPA members Virginia Mortenson, Frank Kutchen, Mike Wilson
IPA member James Sandin, Maxine Carlson, 2nd Vice-President and Historian, Marilyn Baszczynski, Editor
Maggie Westvold, Secretary, far left, members Joyce Allen, Wally Moll (foreground). Rodney Reeves, Nominations (far back center), Linda Harris, Treasurer (standing back right). Other IPA members: Joan Waske, Lucy Ringold, Kay Herring, Pat Underwood


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