Tuesday, May 19, 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.


Today's author conversation is with Jennifer Habel. Habel is the author of  The Book of Jane, published by the University of Iowa Press and Good Reason. She lives in Cincin­nati, Ohio.

Dear Allison,

First of all: What a great idea. Second of all: I can't believe you are working in a closet.

Here are some answers to your questions:

Reading rec: I've been reading War and Peace along with the virtual book club organized by Yiyun Li and A Public Spacehttps://apublicspace.org/news/detail/tolstoy-together. We read 12-15 pages a day and will finish the book by summer. I like thinking of the existence of that multitudinous "we."

Three good things that happened to me today:

Blueberry pancakes

A run in the sun

My husband hung up some art we ordered from Moglea -- an Iowa(!)-based letterpress studio. Here it is:


Isolation music recommendation: Waxahatchee's Saint Cloud

Lastly, here's an image of the work space my (fourteen-year-old) daughter set up for herself in preparation for going to school from home. I'm aiming for "one day at a time" these days too.


all best,




Thanks Jennifer!

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 uipress@uiowa.edu.


Photo by Galina N on Unsplash