In anticipation of his reading from Mentor: a Memoir (a book about, among other things, late Iowa Writers' Workshop director Frank Conroy), here's a fascinating interview with Grimes via Bookslut. Interviewer JC Hallman writes, in a thoughtful introduction:
And Mentor, I think, beyond its telling portrait of an elusive personality (one absolutely essential to understanding the state of creative writing these days), is interesting precisely for the light it sheds on the art of memoir. It seems to me that memoir has too often become about writers creating disguises for themselves -- we learn after a book has appeared that exaggerations, omissions, or outright inventions catapult it from what we're currently comfortable categorizing as nonfiction. The book puts on too many clothes. I long for books that strive toward a kind of nakedness, regardless of fidelity to "facts." I long for a whole library that reveals rather than preens.Tom Grimes is the author of five novels, a play, and a memoir. He edited "The Workshop: Seven Decades from the Iowa Writers Workshop," the creative writing program from which he graduated. He now directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Texas State University.