#2 – History: UIowa Origins
The UIowa International Writing Program’s 100 Words literary journal was founded by writers from Russia, the United Kingdom and IWP staff. The original intention was “to provide a vehicle for foreign writers’ perceptions of America, and to provide a lens for viewing cultural difference. “ The issues featured prose and poetry responses of no more than 100 words to a single ‘trigger word’ – map, fire, old, garden, memory, fable, mad, story, loss, fate, passage, stone, voice, night. Built by contributors and subscribers across the world, the short-run 100 Words sparked writing exercise variations and blog memes as well as a site or two or three.
#3 – History: Ida’s First 100 Words draft, circa 1996
Gram’s lowest pantry shelf houses forty years of Presbyterian Ladies’ Circle recipe collections. Between mimeographed pages, Gram nested paper slips with family recipes, our own culinary inventions. In my kitchen now, I open pages of three gifted to me, and usher my grandparents into the room. His sage, her cinnamon. I breathe vapors of homemade horseradish. I conjure pepper sprinkled over pan drippings melding flour and water for sumptuous gravy. I listen for cooking to begin: gas stove lit by matches, aluminum pans jangling onto burners, stone sharpened knives fashioning chicken pieces to be buttermilked, corn-flaked, peppered and crisply fried.