University of Iowa writers can now study beside trees on campus connected to famous authors and poets.
DAHL ILLUSTRATION: JARED SALASBERRY
Even more than trees, University of Iowa arborist Andy Dahl
loves trees with good stories.
Thanks to Dahl, the UI campus
already features specimens grafted from
apple trees tied to Johnny Appleseed and
Sir Isaac Newton. A planting near the
Iowa Writers' Workshop this past fall
added eight new saplings originating from
trees owned by or connected to famous
authors and poets (see illustration).
Warmed by coats and hot cider,
workshop students, alumni, and faculty
read aloud literary works associated with
the prominent writers during the planting.
Plans are also under way to add trees
from the Iowa City homes of one-time
workshop instructor Kurt Vonnegut and
professor emerita Marilynne Robinson
(17LHD). "I don't think we need to stop
there," says Dahl. "We'll keep it going."
AUTHOR: William Faulkner
TREES: White Oak and Osage Orange
TREE ORIGINS: Rowan Oak, Faulkner's
home in Oxford, Mississippi
READING: The Sound and the Fury
AUTHOR: Robert Frost
TREE ORIGINS: Frost's home in Franconia,
READING: "The Wood-Pile"
AUTHOR: Alex Haley
TREE ORIGINS: Haley's childhood home in
READING: Lucille Clifton's "Blessing the Boats"
AUTHOR: Edgar Allan Poe
TREE ORIGINS: Poe Museum garden in
READING: "The Cask of Amontillado"
AUTHOR: Henry David Thoreau
TREE: Red Maple
TREE ORIGINS: Thoreau's beloved Walden Pond
in Concord, Massachusetts
READING: Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
AUTHOR: Mark Twain
TREES: Sycamore and Burr Oak
TREE ORIGINS: Mark Twain Cave in
READING: "A Presidential Candidate"