University of Iowa News Release
April 6, 2005
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Iowa Writers' Workshop Director Frank Conroy Dies
Author Frank Conroy, director of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop for the past 18 years, died today after a long bout with cancer. Conroy, who had announced that he was stepping down as director at the end of this semester, came to the Writers' Workshop in 1987.
Conroy was born in 1936, graduated from Haverford College in 1958 and became director of the National Endowment for the Arts literature program in 1982. He won numerous awards, including a Chevalier of Arts and Letters from the French government and a Grammy Award.
Author Chris Offutt, a visiting faculty member who was Conroy's student in the workshop, commented, "Frank had a great influence on every student fortunate enough to study with him, but his biggest impact was on American literature. He not only took his job seriously, but he provided unflagging support for young writers. Many of his former students have gone on to distinguished careers."
He wrote the classic memoir of youth "Stop-Time," the collection of stories "Midair," and the novel "Body and Soul." He edited "The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing Life from Iowa Writers' Workshop," "The Iowa Award: The Best Stories, 1991-2000" and "The Iowa Award: The Best Stories from Twenty Years."
His work appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, Harper's Magazine and Partisan Review, and many of these pieces were collected in "Dogs Bark, But the Caravan Rolls On."
His final book was "Time and Tide," a personal tour of the history and landscape of his beloved second home, Nantucket Island.
University of Iowa President David Skorton was traveling Wednesday afternoon, but will issue a statement about Conroy later in the day.
The Iowa Writers' Workshop is an academic program of the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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