Foster, Porter to read from 'Understanding the Essay'

Foster, Porter to read from 'Understanding the Essay'

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Patricia Foster and Jeff Porter, faculty members in the University of Iowa Department of English and the Nonfiction Writing Program, will read from their new book, Understanding the Essay, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, in a free reading at Prairie Lights Books in downtown Iowa City. The reading also will be streamed live on the UI Writing University website.

Patricia Foster
Patricia Foster

Author Sallie Tisdale says of Understanding the Essay, "The book is a warm and intelligent addition to our understanding of a form seemingly built for confusion. Foster and Porter know their subject: the subtle demands and inventions of the form; the tension between a narrator and her unsettled sibling, the author; the importance of integrity to both the known and the inventive voice. The brief biographies create a nuanced context in which to read the work; the analytic essays offer insight into work we think we know—or have yet to explore—in such a way that we can read as though for the first time."

Foster, an alumna of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is the author of two books of nonfiction and the editor of three anthologies of nonfiction prose. She has published both fiction and nonfiction in such literary quarterlies as the Gettysburg Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, and Fourth Genre.

jeff porter
Jeff Porter

Porter specializes in literary nonfiction, documentary film, and digital media, with particular emphasis on science and technology. He offers classes on radio and video essays, documentary writing and filmmaking, postmodernism, and the history of the essay. He is the author of Oppenheimer Is Watching Me, and his essays have appeared in numerous journals.

The Department of English, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the Nonfiction Writing Program are part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information or special accommodations to attend this reading, call Jan Weissmiller at Prairie Lights, 319-337-2681. For a UI arts calendar and details about upcoming events visit the new Arts Iowa website.


Christopher Clair, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0900


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