Iowa City park named for late Pulitzer Prize winner

March 18, 2021 GMT

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City park has been renamed for a late resident and the first Black winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

The Iowa City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved changing the name of Creekside Park to James Alan McPherson Park.

McPherson enrolled at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop after graduating from Harvard Law School, and in 1978, won the Pulitzer for “Elbow Room,” a collection of short stories. He joined the Writers’ Workshop faculty in 1981. He died in 2016 at the age of 72.

The park that now bears his name was recently renovated and features a new playground, shelter, basketball court, and restroom.


The park renaming stemmed from the city’s efforts last summer to acknowledge the Black Lives Matter movement. The City Council received 15 emails supporting the proposal to rename the park for McPherson, Juli Seydell Johnson, parks and recreation director, told The Gazette of Cedar Rapids.