Tag Archive for Paul Engle

ICYM: the CIA and American fiction

Literary scholar Eric Bennett traces the agency’s influence on the Iowa Writers Workshop, the most celebrated and influential creative writing program in the United States over the past 50 years.

Plus: Is this the best JFK novel ever?

How the CIA shaped American creative writing

Paul Engle teachng at the University of Iowa in the 1950s.

In this fascinating article for  The Chronicle of Higher Education, Eric Bennett describes the remarkable career of Paul Engle, the director of the Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop, the most celebrated and select writing program in the country.

“Between the mid-1940s and the early 1960s, Engle transformed the Writers’ Workshop from a regional curiosity into a national landmark,” Bennett writes

And he did it with money that came with ideological strings attached, including money from the CIA.

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