The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa City Poetry hosts second Generative Writers Workshop at Stanley Museum of Art

A workshop of poetry and artistic interpretation led by internationally recognized writer Efe Duyan took place at the Stanley on Sept. 24.
Cody Blissett
The Stanley Museum of Art is seen in Iowa City, on Sunday, July 23, 2023.

The University of Iowa’s Stanley Museum of Art is home to a slew of cultural events including the Generative Writer’s Workshop, hosted by Iowa City Poetry.

The poetry workshop took place on Sunday, Sept. 24, and was conducted by Turkish writer and architect Efe Duyan. A workshop takes place on the fourth Sunday of every month, each one focusing on a different aspect of writing.

Duyan began the workshop by reading excerpts of his poetry from the book “In a Time of Witness,” a publication that highlights the museum’s celebrated collection of art and sculpture.

A series of writers contributed to the book, including Margaret Ross, Carmen Maria Machado, and Lan Samantha Chang. It includes literary responses to the pieces displayed at the Stanley Museum of Art, as well as a collection of artistic interpretations. The book was edited and curated by DK Nnuro, the Stanley’s curator of special projects.

Duyan’s poem, “Non-Euclidean Space is Dangerous,” was inspired by the sculpture on display outside the museum, “Two Lines Oblique” by George Rickey. The poem referenced a metaphor of the sculpture and the paths of two lovers intersecting.

After this introduction, the workshop participants were asked to explore the museum and choose any piece of artwork on display as a source of inspiration for a piece of poetry.

Leia Gemignani, a UI first-year English and creative writing major, jumped at the chance to participate in a creative workshop at the Stanley.

“It’s one of the things I enjoy about the city, that there’s always some sort of event that helps enrich the arts,” Gemignani said.

Workshop participants were given an hour to choose a piece. Upon returning to their meeting spot, members of the group who wished to read aloud exchanged poetry.

“I try not to miss these workshops,” said Lisa Grayson, a retired insurance agent. “It’s such a great opportunity to hear from writers and artists and just brush on writing as a hobby for me.”

This was Iowa City Poetry’s second monthly workshop at the museum after a hiatus in the summer of 2023. The book, “In the Time of Witness” is available for purchase at the Stanley Museum of Art.

“[Writing] is a tough industry so we can use all the guidance we can get,” said Sean Harken a UI third-year student. “This is a super accessible way of being able to interact with real-life people in the business and pick up tips on the industry.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of the article did not include mention of Iowa City Poetry, and incorrectly stated that “In the Time of Witness” was curated by a series of writers. The DI regrets these errors. 

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About the Contributors
Anupama Choudhury, Arts Reporter
Cody Blissett
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.