David Hamilton in conversation with Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas

Join us on November 7, as David Hamilton, the celebrated, former editor of The Iowa Review, reads from and discusses his new essay collection with author and UChicago professor Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas.


A Certain Arc: Essays of Finding My Way
By David Hamilton

A Certain Arc follows 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.-

As one would expect from such a distinguished educator and editor, the prose in this collection is beautifully turned, the intelligence luminous, and the experience and wisdom of a lifetime generously shared: this book is a gift to all literature-lovers. But what seems even more striking and rare, in this age of self–absorbed memoir, is the curiosity and openness of its author, his worldly willingness to learn from others–in short, his humility, which is the true mark of an ethically refined sensibility.—Phillip Lopate, author, A Mother’s Tale


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.


Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas graduated with both a creative nonfiction writing and a literary translation MFA from the University of Iowa. She is the author of Drown Sever Sing from Anomalous press and Don’t Come Back, from Mad Creek Books, as well as the co-editor of the forthcoming anthology The Great American Essay. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry and translation work has been featured in various journals including The Bellingham Review, The Chicago Review, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Poets & Writers and the Sunday Rumpus, among others. She’s been the recipient of the Best of the Net award and the Iron Horse Review’s Discovered Voices award, she has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and is a Rona Jaffe fellow. She moved from Colombia to China to Columbus to Chicago, where she works as an assistant professor for the University of Chicago.

Photo: A. Kendra Greene

Event date: 

Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Event address: 

A Certain ARC: Essays of Finding My Way Cover Image
ISBN: 9781948509077
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Ice Cube Press - October 6th, 2019