Jorie Graham

Jorie Graham

GENRE
Poetry
AFFILIATION
Alumnus Faculty
TIME IN IOWA CITY
1977 - 1999
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Place

Jorie Graham at Linn Street Cafe


Location
Old Linn Street Cafe
121 North Linn Street

The Linn Street Cafe has been in operation since the late 1980s. Throughout the 1990s the staff decorated the walls of one of the dining rooms with framed book jackets. The collection hasn’t been updated much since Jorie Graham left town in 2000, but when she was here, many afternoons she would run frantically into Prairie Lights, frame in hand, to get the dust jackets of the books by the authors she planned to take to dinner within the hour.

-Jan Weissmiller

 


Weissmiller, Jan. “Iowa City: City Guides.” Poets & Writers. Poets & Writers, 1 May 2012. Web. 21 May 2016.

Place

Jorie Graham on her time in Iowa City


Location
Iowa City
123 S Linn St

From the Paris Review, interviewed by Thomas Gardner

[…]

GRAHAM

Well, in the same way the double self-portraits in The End of Beauty were written out of literally being “double” while pregnant—being a person housing another, trulyother, person—another soul than one’s own, another body, another destiny, a different heart.

INTERVIEWER

This was in Iowa City?

GRAHAM

Yes. The early years in Iowa City. Getting up at night to feed her, put her back down, and then going to my typewriter with the terrible postpartum fear that I would never write again, not truly or deeply, and then feeling the black windowpanes holding the sleeping town and all its dreamers. It was as if I could feel all the dreams floating over the bodies in all the rooms in that town—and that silence full of dream beginning to pull that book out of me, beckoning, allowing me back into the ancient stream via dream and myth and listening while others slept. A roving consciousness over a sleeping world. That’s what Iowa was like, for me, in those years. It was not merely “not Washington,” or “not Rome.” It was the unimaginably mysterious life of mothering.

INTERVIEWER

You began teaching at Iowa?

GRAHAM

Yes. I had taught elsewhere, but at Iowa I began learning to be the teacher I became. I made some mistakes. But I loved teaching.

[…]

In Iowa I still felt very attached as a citizen—a mother scribbling notes on drafts as I waited in the car to get whatever group of kids I was responsible for to their next activity—and God knows I wrote a couple of books sitting in the car waiting for this or that lesson to be done: sports, math, music, Latin.


Gardner, Thomas. “Jorie Graham, The Art of Poetry No. 85.” The Paris Review. N.p., 30 Nov. 2018. Web. 03 Dec. 2018.

Audio

Jorie Graham reading, Live From Prairie Lights, April 4, 2002


Location
Prairie Lights Bookstore
15 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City Iowa

Jorie Graham reads from her collection Never: Poems.

 

Audio

Marvin Bell, Rowena Torrevillas, James Galvin, Mark Levine, and Jorie Graham read the work of IWP participants, including Tomaž Salamun


Location
Prairie Lights Bookstore
15 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City Iowa

Poets Marvin Bell, Rowena Torrevillas, James Galvin, Mark Levine, and Jorie Graham read the work of IWP participants whose work has been published in previous issues of the Iowa Review.

Works Read: Marvin Bell reads the following poems: “It Happened There Was a Man Who Wanted to Be a Hunter” by Ai Qing. “Give Indonesia Back to Me” by Taufiq Ismail. “The Exercise” by Fernando Arbelaez.

Rowena Torrevillas reads the poem “Indian Summer” by Nicolae Breban.

James Galvin reads an excerpt from the short story “Tort’s Bitter Marriage” by Amos Tutuola.

Mark Levine reads the following poems: “Barbaric Poem” by Guillermo Sánchez. “Wound and Knife” by György Somlyó. “The Biographer” by Ágnes Gergely. “Last Passengers” by Sunil Gangopadhyay.

Jorie Graham reads the following poems: “To Have a Friend” by Tomaž Salamun, trans. by Robert Hass. “Souvenir of the Ancient World” by Carlos Drummond de Andrade, trans. by Mark Strand. “A Pity, We Were Such a Good Invention;” “We Did It;” “Rain on a Battlefield;” “Out of Three or Four in a Room” by Yehuda Amichai. “Foreign Domestic;” “A Lovely Finish” by Elizabeth Bishop.

David Hamilton reads “Understanding Poetry” by Stuart Friebert.

 

Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, most recently Sea Change (Ecco, 2008), Never (2002), Swarm (2000), and The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She received an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa, as well as taught as faculty in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

 

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