This course promises to stock you with enough fresh material for ten essays, stories, or even a book to flesh out over the months following our weekend in Iowa City. In an invigorating, supportive, no-pressure environment, we’ll use tested writing prompts to get some beginnings down on paper for further development when you go home. We’ll have some time to discuss and share our work at the end of class each day and get some feedback on how to proceed with the work we’ve generated, as well as a list of prompts to generate new material at home. Ten prompts. Two days. Let’s do this!
Mieke Eerkens is a Dutch-American writer who grew up between Los Angeles and The Netherlands. She earned an M.A. in English from the University of Leiden in The Netherlands, and an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from The University of Iowa. She currently teaches creative writing for UCLA Extension’s Writers’ Program in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in various outlets, including The Atlantic, The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, Pen America, PANK, Guernica, and Creative Nonfiction, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has also been anthologized in Best Travel Writing 2011; Norton’s Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, “Found” Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts, edited by David Shields; and A Book of Uncommon Prayer. Her essay “Seep,” about the Cosco Busan oil spill, was a winner of the Walton Sustainability Solutions Essay Award in collaboration with Creative Nonfiction magazine, and was selected as a “Notable Essay” in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015. She has served as editor-in-chief of the literary magazine Transfer and as a reader for literary journals and prizes. She is currently working on a book about her parents’ respective experiences in WWII and the inheritance of war trauma. Her book, All Ships Follow Me: A Family's Inheritance of War, is forthcoming from Picador.