Kristen Iversen is the author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats, winner of the Colorado Book Award and the Reading the West Book Award, and chosen one of the Best Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews, the American Library Association, and Mother Jones Magazine, and 2012 Best Book about Justice by The Atlantic. Selected by more than a dozen universities across the country for their First Year Experience/Common Read programs, Full Body Burden was also a
What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?
The Fellowship meant a great deal to me. At the time, I was just beginning to publish, and I was a single parent, raising two children on my own and teaching full-time. The Fellowship gave me more time to write, and most importantly, validated my work as a writer and brought me into a community of writers in the Bay Area which remains important to me to the present day.
What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?
I have published several books, most recently Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats (Crown 2012, paperback 2013), which won several significant national awards and has been translated into Chinese and Japanese. I have two books coming out in the near future; a novel and a nonfiction book. For several years I was director of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Memphis. I currently teach at the University of Cincinnati, where I direct the PhD program in creative nonfiction and teach creative nonfiction and fiction.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?
It's most important to stay focused on the work, but essential to stay connected to your community of writers and artists and continue to build that sense of community.
Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?
Difficult for emerging writers and artists.
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