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Episode 16: Tom Grimes, Mentor

Reading Tom Grimes’ memoir about his time at the Iowa Writers Workshop–and his long-running relationship with its famed director, Frank Conroy–has brought on a combination of nostalgia and post-traumatic stress syndrome in your humble podcasters, who both graduated from the Workshop roughly a decade after Grimes. Tom recounts his first, humbling workshop with Conroy, and Mike realizes he’s always longed for the kind of mentor relationship so lovingly described in the book.

Grimes has described Mentor as the autobiography of a failed novelist, though one clear lesson of the book is that success and failure are both relative. Continue reading