Workshop and Teaching Experience

professor-bascom-talks at poetry readingI have often visited colleges, libraries, high schools, and retreat centers as a guest author, including the University of Pittsburgh, Central College in Iowa, Columbia College Chicago, Florida State University, the Marshalltown Public Library in Iowa, St. Francis Retreat Center in LaCrosse Wisconsin, and six Iowa high schools.  I have also been a guest at a dozen book clubs in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas.  And I have spoken at numerous conferences (see list of presentations below).  In other words, I like to be a guest author, reading from my work, guest lecturing in classes, and generally meeting with people interested in writing.  To contact me about guest appearances, please send an email:



A List of Past Conference Presentations

“Law and Disorder: A Reading.”  AWP Conference (Minneapolis, Minnesota): April 9, 2015.

“Detours of Intention: Travel Writing, Privilege, and Perspective.”  AWP Conference (Minneapolis, Minnesota): April 9, 2015.

“The Joy of Research: Digging Deeper in the Personal Essay.”  Summer Writing Festival (University of Iowa): July 12, 2012.

“Party Line: Finding a More Purposeful Feedback for Our Writing.”  Summer Writing Festival (University of Iowa): June 27, 2011.

“Picture That! Essay Structures for the Visual Learner.”  Summer Writing Festival  (University of Iowa): June 17, 2010.

“Necessary Lies: Memory and Invention in Creative Nonfiction.” Giving Voice: A Festival of Writing and the Arts (John Brown University, Arkansas): April 3-4, 2008.

“Writing and Social Responsibility” (panel and master class).  Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series  (U. of Pittsburgh): March 5-6, 2008.

“The Significant Object.” Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference (Middlebury College, Vermont): August 17-26, 2006.

“The Spirit of Travel: Intersections Between Travel and Transcendence.” Nonfiction Now Conference (University of Iowa): November 10-12, 2005.

“Strangers at Home: A Reading by Former Missionary Children.”  Associated Writing Programs Conference (Vancouver): March 30-April 2, 2005.

“Culture or Confession: Stripping the Memoir.” Associated Writing Programs         Conference (Chicago): March 24-27, 2004.

“Revelation, Revolution, and Regrets: Writing from a Cross-Cultural          Background.”  Craft, Critique and Culture Conference (University of Iowa): March 28-30, 2003.



Workshop Experience:

Iowa Summer Writing Conference (University of Iowa)—2007-Present.

Taught annual workshop courses, including “Chapter to Book: Writing Book-Length Nonfiction,”  “Larger than Life: Writing a Memoir About More than the Self,” “Here and Now: Writing about Place,” “An Enormous Eye: Writing the Contemplative Essay,” and “The Journey Within: Travel Writing and Transcendence.”

Retreat Leader (Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, Iowa)—2007-2011.

Led four retreats for writers, including “Words on the Word: Poetry in Response to Scripture” and “Writing the Story of the Soul: Spiritual Autobiography.”

Bread Loaf Fellow (Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference)—2006.

Assisted veteran writer and workshop leader, Bill Kittredge, with a ten-day writers’ workshop.

Resident Writer  (Kansas Arts in Education Program)—1994-2001:

Led over five creative writing workshops in Kansas high schools, junior high schools, and community arts centers.

Writing and Editing Trainer (Cook Communications Int’l)—1987-1994.

Led or helped to lead over twenty workshops for writers, editors, and publishers in the following countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Indonesia, Nepal, India, France, and the Slovak Republic.  Subjects included: short story writing, magazine editing, article writing, and basic graphic design.



Classroom Teaching experience


I have worked as a professor of creative writing for the past 15 years in a variety of college and university settings, including guest teaching gigs at the University of Missouri and Drake University. Since the fall of 2013, I have been working in a tenure-track position as Director of Creative Writing at Waldorf College in northern Iowa.  In these different positions, I have had the opportunity to teach a wide range of writing courses and occasional literature courses (see lists below).


Writing Courses Taught:

Advanced Nonfiction Workshop: The Memoir

Advanced Fiction Workshop: Experiments in the Short Story

Advanced Poetry Workshop: The Collection

Techniques of Poetry

The Art of the Personal Essay.

Writing about Place.

The Contemplative Essay.

Reading and Writing Nonfiction

Reading and Writing Fiction

Reading and Writing Poetry

Who Are Your Influences? A seminar on coming-of-age memoirs.

Creative Writing.

Rhetoric I and II.

Composition I and II.


Literature Courses Taught

Cultural Perspectives in Literature.

World literature: A Survey.

World Literature: African Perspectives.

Contemporary Literature.

The Short Story as a Genre

Introduction to Literature.

Representative British Writers from Anglo Saxon beginnings to the Restoration.

Heritage of Western Literature II: Western literature from the Enlightenment forward.


%d bloggers like this: