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Edible Essays: Adventures in Food Writing with Jennifer Cognard-Black

  • Iowa Writer's House 332 East Davenport Street Iowa City, IA, 52245 United States (map)

When: Friday, March 10th, 6:00pm-7:00pm (workshop kickoff)

Saturday, March 11th, 10:00am-3:30pm ( lunch break 12:00-1:30pm)

Sunday, March 12th, 10:00-3:30pm (lunch break 12:00-1:30pm)

Where: The Iowa Writers' House, 332 E Davenport St

Fee: $235


About the Workshop

A recipe is a slice of history—an archival document that offers information about a recipe writer’s family structure, ethnicity, economic status, diet, and geography. In this workshop, participants will consider the recipe as a form of familial storytelling and meaning-making all its own and provide participants with the opportunity to excavate their own recipes for family stories and write an extended memoir essay, or “Edible Essay.”  Bringing in a favorite, cherished, despised, secret, and/or “lost” family recipe, participants will discuss what aspects of memory are contained within recipes—including both intimate but also communal and national memories.  Professor Cognard-Black will connect participants’ own recipes to other examples of recipes recorded at specific historical moments that tell certain cultural stories. Ultimately, participants will engage in Recipe Recollection writing prompts that will launch their own “Edible Essay" and also have an opportunity to share their work as part of a final celebratory reading.

About the Instructor

Writer and professor Jennifer Cognard-Black will lead this program. Professor of English at St. Mary’s College, Cognard-Black's specialties are Anglo-American women novelists, feminist literary theory, fiction writing, and the literatures of food. She co-edited the recently published Books that Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal (New York University Press 2014), an anthology of food fictions, culinary poems, and edible essays that each include at least one recipe. Cognard-Black has also published a number of her own essays—personal, scholarly, and public intellectual—and she is the co-editor of two other volumes, including one with Iowa University Press, a collection of previously unpublished letters by Anglo-American women writers, Kindred Hands (2006), and another of creative nonfiction essays entitled From Curlers to Chainsaws: Women and Their Machines (Michigan State University Press 2016).

Everyone has a story to tell. If you are financially unable to attend this workshop, scholarships are available through our generous partners and donors. 


Helping another person attend a workshop is helping them achieve their dreams. Thank you for making our world a better place.



Earlier Event: March 8
Cedar Room Write-In
Later Event: March 14
Violet Realm Write-In