David Hamilton

A Certain Arc follows David Hamilton through a university career where he encounters and participates in the culture of writers and writing. Beginning with “Hometown,” which portrays his origins, he continues with two essays, one set in Colombia where he plays host for a week to a still-unknown Hunter Thompson, the other in Gabon with his Peace Corps daughter. Next comes a tribute to a former colleague and to the beginnings of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. The probable centerpiece of this collection is “At the Fair,” reflections and anecdotes from three decades of editing The Iowa Review. The collection ends with “Charlottesville,” on his friendship with James Alan McPherson, and the title essay, on experience and its representation in writing, the arc of its flight always caught between appearing and disappearing.

David Hamilton was a member of the English Department at the University of Iowa for thirty-seven years, teaching both literature and writing courses. Through most of those years, too, he edited The Iowa Review. His earlier books are Deep River: A Memoir of a Missouri Farm, and Ossabaw and The Least Hinge, a volume and chapbook of poems.