At the Tuesday, March 16, 2021 City Council meeting, Council approved the renaming of Creekside Park to James Alan McPherson Park. The recently updated park is located at 1856 7th Avenue Court. 

The unanimous vote from council changes the park's name to honor the legendary career and life of McPherson, a longtime Iowa City resident, professor at the University of Iowa's prestigious Writers' Workshop, and the first African-American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. 

Best known for his essays and short stories, McPherson's 1977 short story collection "Elbow Room" was the publication that earned him the Pulitzer. He would go on to teach at the Writers' Workshop for over 30 years. McPherson passed in 2016. 

The park was renovated with new playground, shelter, basketball court, and restroom in 2020.  A new park sign along with a memorial plaque will be installed later this summer.

To learn more about the impact and legacy of McPherson, visit the University of Iowa's website

Date of publication

Wednesday, March 17, 2021