Briar Cliff College

Home Phone: (712) 277-2811

Phil Hey, winner of the Literacy Award from the Iowa Council of Teachers of English, teaches English and writing at Briar Cliff College in Sioux City. His interests in the field range from poetry writing and natural history to business communication, and he has been a frequent presenter for Humanities Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. He owns and manages a native prairie in the Loess Hills, and he teaches several classes using the Internet.

From Clay Tablets to Chatrooms: Writing, Society, and Technology
Would society be better if all our poems and documents were written with quill pen on parchment, as the Declaration of Independence was? Could Dashiell Hammett have written “The Maltese Falcon” on a word-processor instead of a manual typewriter? What we can be sure of is that our writing media make more difference than we can measure. Phil Hey, an Iowa writer and “writing coach” for over thirty years, demonstrates the unique qualities of writing instruments such as quill pens, rubber stamps, and calligraphy pens and talks about the history of writing and how its technology has changed our society.

Learning Where We Are: Natural History as Science for the Common Reader
Twentieth-century science has increasingly become abstract, theoretical and removed from experience—a subject “not for amateurs.” However, an older, more direct view of the world—natural history—is an area of science where the average person may easily explore the questions and values that have made science a great adventure for the human mind. This presentation introduces some of the most interesting questions raised by natural history writers and by the study of science.

Calling All Poets
“Calling All Poets” is an exploration of the sense of place in the works of Iowa poets in the hope that we can all recognize the value of our particular place i the world and share it through writing and reading.