In a dark wooden booth at the Foxhead one night, the air blue with cigarette smoke and the clatter of pool balls, Frank confided to me that he had just gotten an advance for the novel he was then writing, $250,000. Suddenly I could see that he was no ordinary academic. We sat drinking with Joseph Brodsky another night, the jukebox playing and a bell at the bar being rung every time someone ordered a local beer called Dubuque Star. Brodsky had come to Iowa City to read. He was not the only Nobel laureate to do so. Derek Walcott came and Seamus Heaney, who read to a crowd that overflowed onto half the stage. While it did not rival Stockholm, the invitation to Iowa City was a distinction. Almost every week someone of interest arrived to read, and there were dinners with them beforehand.
Salter, James. “The Writing Teacher.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 May 2005, www.nytimes.com/2005/05/08/books/review/the-writing-teacher.html.