A popular t-shirt for sale in Iowa City declares “Downtown Iowa City: From Tree Sweaters to Unsupervised Pianos, Anything Goes.” Such a statement nicely encapsulates the appeal of this Midwestern college town—easy-going and open-minded, where hidden treasures abound.
Iowa City is the only city in North America to be named a UNESCO City of Literature (http://cityofliteratureusa.org). This designation was awarded in 2008, in recognition of Iowa City’s vibrant literary and book arts community. Several academic programs at the University contribute to this environment – the Writers’ Workshop and the International Writing Program both have significant global reputations. The University of Iowa Center for the Book recently became the sixth program in the United States to offer an MFA in book arts and counts a MacArthur Fellow as its Director. Outside of the University community a vibrant larger community of many practicing book artists, printers, bookbinders, writers, and book collectors adds to the legacy of writers and artists who have called Iowa home. Iowa City was also recently featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in “Midwest Traveler: Get artsy (and sporty) in Iowa City.” Our location will offer a classic, genuinely Midwestern Conference—an intimate, productive gathering with minimal distractions in a welcoming and easy-to-navigate Midwestern University town.