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Famous Iowa Writers' Workshop Alumni

Updated July 17, 2019 18.4k views69 items

List RulesPeople on this list must have gone to Iowa Writers' Workshop and be of some renown.

List of famous alumni from Iowa Writers' Workshop, with photos when available. Prominent graduates from Iowa Writers' Workshop include some of the greatest English language writers of the twentieth century. This list of distinguished Iowa Writers' Workshop alumni is full of recognizable and notable writers, like Flannery O'Connor and John Irving. This directory is not just composed of graduates of this school, as some of the famous people on this list didn't necessarily earn a degree from Iowa Writers' Workshop, but rather attended it for a spell.

This list answers the questions “Which famous writers went to Iowa Writers' Workshop?” and “Which top authors are Iowa Writers' Workshop alumni?”
  • Flannery O'Connor1

    Flannery O'Connor

    Novelist, Author

    AgeDec. at 39 (1925-1964)

    BirthplaceSavannah, Georgia

    Mary Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American novelist, short story...  more

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    The Best Flannery O'Connor Short Stories#137 of 1,172 The Best Writers of All Time

  • 2

    David Milch

    Television producer, Screenwriter


    BirthplaceBuffalo, New York, United States of America

    David Sanford Milch (born March 23, 1945) is an American writer and producer of television...  more
  • Allan Gurganus3

    Allan Gurganus

    Novelist, Screenwriter


    BirthplaceRocky Mount, North Carolina, United States of America

    Allan Gurganus is an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist whose work, which...  more
  • Paul Lisicky4

    Paul Lisicky

    Novelist, Writer


    Paul Lisicky (born July 9, 1959) is an American novelist and memoirist. He is an associate...  more
  • John Irving5

    John Irving

    Novelist, Screenwriter


    BirthplaceExeter, New Hampshire, United States of America

    John Winslow Irving (born John Wallace Blunt Jr.; March 2, 1942) is an American novelist and...  more
  • Lucy Grealy6

    AgeDec. at 39 (1963-2002)

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

    Lucinda Margaret Grealy (June 3, 1963 – December 18, 2002) was an Irish-American poet and...  more
  • Bharati Mukherjee7

    Bharati Mukherjee

    Professor, Novelist


    BirthplaceKolkata, India

    Bharati Mukherjee (July 27, 1940 – January 28, 2017) was an Indian American writer and...  more
  • Ann Patchett8

    Ann Patchett

    Novelist, Author


    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    Ann Patchett (born December 2, 1963) is an American author. She received the 2002 PEN/Faulkner...  more
  • Adam Haslett9

    Adam Haslett

    Author, Writer


    BirthplacePort Chester, New York

    Adam Haslett (born December 24, 1970) is an American fiction writer. He currently lives in New...  more
  • Rita Dove10

    Rita Dove

    Poet, Professor


    BirthplaceAkron, Ohio, United States of America

    Rita Frances Dove (born August 28, 1952) is an American poet and essayist. From 1993 to 1995,...  more
  • Charles D'Ambrosio11

    Charles D'Ambrosio

    Essayist, Writer


    BirthplaceSeattle, Washington

    Charles Anthony D'Ambrosio, Jr (born 1958) is an American short story writer and essayist....  more
  • 12


    BirthplaceCincinnati, Ohio

    Elizabeth Curtis Sittenfeld (born 1975) is an American writer. She is the author of a...  more
  • Wallace Stegner13

    Wallace Stegner

    Environmentalist, Historian

    AgeDec. at 84 (1909-1993)

    BirthplaceLake Mills, Iowa

    Wallace Earle Stegner (February 18, 1909 – April 13, 1993) was an American novelist, short...  more
  • W. D. Snodgrass14

    W. D. Snodgrass

    Poet, Author

    AgeDec. at 83 (1926-2009)

    BirthplaceBeaver Falls, Pennsylvania

    William De Witt Snodgrass (January 5, 1926 – January 13, 2009) was an American poet who also...  more
  • Lewis Robinson15

    Lewis Robinson



    BirthplaceNatick, Massachusetts

    Lewis Robinson is an American author. His first book, Officer Friendly and Other Stories, was...  more
  • Andre Dubus16

    Andre Dubus

    Biographer, Novelist

    AgeDec. at 63 (1936-1999)

    BirthplaceLake Charles, Louisiana

    Andre Jules Dubus II (August 11, 1936 – February 24, 1999) was an American short story writer...  more
  • James Tate17

    James Tate

    Poet, Professor


    BirthplaceKansas City, Missouri

    James Vincent Tate (December 8, 1943 – July 8, 2015) was an American poet. His work earned...  more
  • Robert Bly18

    Robert Bly

    Poet, Author



    Robert Bly (born December 23, 1926) is an American poet, essayist, activist and leader of the...  more
  • Charles Wright19

    Charles Wright

    Poet, Professor


    BirthplacePickwick Dam, Tennessee

    Charles Wright (born August 25, 1935) is an American poet. He shared the National Book Award...  more
  • Laurel Snyder20

    Laurel Snyder



    BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland

    Laurel Snyder is an American poet and writer of children's books, including novels and picture...  more
  • D. A. Powell21


    BirthplaceAlbany, Georgia

    Douglas A. Powell (born May 16, 1963 Albany, Georgia) is an American poet....  more
  • Nam Le22

    Nam Le




    Nam Le (Vietnamese: Lê Nam) (born 1978) is a Vietnamese-born Australian writer, who won the...  more
  • Raymond Carver23

    Raymond Carver

    Poet, Author

    AgeDec. at 50 (1938-1988)

    BirthplaceClatskanie, Oregon

    Raymond Clevie Carver Jr. (May 25, 1938 – August 2, 1988) was an American short-story writer...  more
  • Steven Erikson24

    Steven Erikson

    Novelist, Author


    BirthplaceToronto, Canada

    Steven Erikson (born October 7, 1959) is the pseudonym of Steve Rune Lundin, a Canadian...  more
  • 25

    Vern Rutsala

    Poet, Writer

    AgeDec. at 80 (1934-2014)

    BirthplaceMcCall, Idaho

    Vern Rutsala (February 5, 1934 – April 2, 2014) was an American poet. Born in McCall, Idaho,...  more