Lynn NearyLynn Neary is an NPR arts correspondent covering books and publishing.
A stream of consciousness letter Neal Cassady wrote to Jack Kerouac helped inspire the style of On The Road. The original manuscript of the first draft of Jack Kerouac's best-seller is shown above.
The Dey House, a 140-year-old mansion, is home to the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, one of the oldest MFA writing programs in the country. Director Lan Samantha Chang — who attended the workshop as a student — has made it a priority to attract students and faculty from diverse backgrounds to the program.
"When there is danger, when there is destruction, we kind of feel like we're on the edge of life, fully alive, and that can really bring out some strong prose," says author Mitchell Zuckoff.