How Iowa flattened literature
By Eric Bennett
Did the CIA fund creative writing in America? The idea seems like the invention of a creative writer. Yet once upon a time (1967, to be exact), Paul Engle, director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, received money from the Farfield Foundation to support international writing at the University of Iowa. The Farfield Foundation was not really a foundation; it was a CIA front that supported cultural operations, mostly in Europe, through an organization called the Congress for Cultural Freedom.
“A fascinating history of how art, politics and education collided with such force that we still feel its effects today.”
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Tags: C.IA., Communism, Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa, writing education, writing industry