LGBT Reading Group (Iowa City, USA | Glasgow, Scotland)

Exchange Description

The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa and the Glasgow University LGBT Students’ Association will collaborate to form a monthly online reading group, connecting LGBT communities in Iowa City and Glasgow, Scotland. The group will engage in four live, online discussions held monthly, from February 28 to May 2, 2013. In addition to the monthly meetings, two readings and Q&A sessions with American novelist Justin Torres and Scottish fiction writer Zoe Strachan will be scheduled. Iowa Workshop alumna Stephanie Goehring will be the group’s Iowa City coordinator, while former IWP resident and Scottish novelist Louise Welsh will facilitate from Glasgow, Scotland. The Blue Jean Network will allow the Iowa City group to use the DVC facilities at the University of Iowa to connect to the students in Glasgow, who will connect via Skype. Each session will be 1.5 hours in duration. Books discussed during the reading group will include both American and Scottish literature and address LGBT themes or issues in some way. Justin Torres’ We the Animals, Zoe Strachan’s Negative Space, and a compiled packet of American and Scottish poetry are selected to be read and discussed throughout the four-month reading group. The Distance Learning Coordinator will also create a closed Facebook group so students can post questions, thoughts about the readings, and access updates on Q&A events.


Stephanie GOEHRING graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in Poetry in 2012 and has taught literature courses at the University of Iowa for the last three years. She has two published poetry chapbooks, This Room Has a Ghost and I Miss You Very Much.

Louise WELSH is a fiction writer from Scotland and a 2010 IWP resident. She has published five novels and is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Saltire First Book Prize and the City of Glasgow Lord Provost’s Award for Literature.

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