Sunday, April 26, 2020

In these strange and difficult times, the University of Iowa Press, with the Writing University, is reaching out to its authors to gain perspective, advice, humor and connection. We want to know how they are doing, first and foremost: we are primarily checking in. But we also want to know how they are living (or surviving, or managing) with the pandemic that surrounds all of us. We are a family here -- the press, the authors, the university -- and this is what families do: we check in.


Our first author conversation came from JoeAnn Hart. Hart is author of Stamford '76, published by the University of Iowa Press, the novel Float, a dark comedy about plastics in the ocean, and Addled, a social satire. She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

JoeAnn wrote UI Press marketing director Allison Means about her daily life during the pandemic:

I am reading War and Peace as part of a virtual book club started by the literary magazine A Public Space - It’s just a few pages a day, and at this pace we will be done by August. Wonder what our world will look like by then.

Three good things that happened today is that my husband and I woke up healthy, we got some rain for the gardens, and I printed out my short fiction to arrange into a collection.

My isolation playlist is Bach, Beethoven, and Depak Chopra mediations.

My new co-worker, Iggy:


Writing prompt: Clean out a clothes closet and write about everything you don’t use, never wore, never fit and don’t even know how it got here. What does it all say about your relationship with your body.

Stay well, JoeAnn


Established in 1969, the University of Iowa Press serves scholars, students, and readers throughout the world with works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. As the only university press in the state, Iowa is also dedicated to preserving the literature, history, culture, wildlife, and natural areas of the Midwest. The UI Press is a place where first-class writing matters, whether the subject is Whitman or Shakespeare, prairie or poetry, memoirs or fandom. They are committed to the vital role played by small presses as publishers of scholarly and creative works that may not attract commercial attention. For more information, please e-mail:


Photo by Galina N on Unsplash