Do it for the Poets!

I think I better keep the author of this email anonymous...

Dear Friends,

Many of you have probably heard that Dean is leaving Iowa for Austin. As I understand it, this is coming about not because he's hustling for more money, but simply because Iowa is refusing to up him to full-time after he's put in years with the Workshop, and he's tired (after 8 books and a Pulitzer nomination) of cobbling together a career from part-time gigs.

I don't know what your experience was with Dean. For me, he came along when I was hugely confused about my work and my life, and he helped me open up, and calm down, and get energized about poetry again.

Even if you didn't have a transformative experience with him as a teacher, it seems plain that the Workshop could get to be a pretty somber place in his absence. That's not to mention the fact that he's done a fuck of a lot for the Workshop as an institution and the people who make it up. (Remember those handwritten, publication-worthy lectures every seminar?) And that's not to mention the fact that he's one of the best-known contemporary American poets, and a big draw for prospective students.

If Dean ever helped you in any way, or if you have some connection to the Workshop and feel that it would be a stronger program with him than without him, please take ten minutes to write the following people a paragraph or two asking that they please reconsider their position and offer him a full-time job. (Dean, by the way, had nothing to do with this email, and doesn't know I'm writing it. Let's keep it that way.)

Connie Brothers, Program Associate

Lan Samantha Chang, Director of the Workshop

Linda Maxson, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Lola Lopes, Provost

Forward this to anyone I missed.


possum said...

I wrote to Samantha Chang and asked. What's the thought on posting her email here? Legal?

Grendel said...

In the absence of explicit permission, I think our standard shouldn't be legal or not, but the Golden Rule. Put yourself in the other person's shoes: Would you want one of your private emails that was written to a specific person posted without your permission or knowledge, with your name attributed, on a Web site, where it will exist in perpetuity for others to examine and critique?