October 7, 2016 - 5:00pm
JOHN FREEMAN AND ALEKSANDAR HEMON
Freeman's: Family is the second literary journal anthology in the series reviewers are calling “bold” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) and “refreshing” (Chicago Literati). Following a debut issue on the theme of “Arrival,” Freeman circles a new topic whose definition is constantly challenged by the best of our writers: family. Freeman will be joined by Aleksandar Hemon, who will read from and discuss his contribution to the journal.
John Freeman was the editor of Granta until 2013. His books include How to Read a Novelist and Tales of Two Cities: the Best and Worst of Times in Today's New York. He is executive editor at the Literary Hub and teaches at the New School and New York University. Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, Love and Obstacles, and The Making of Zombie Wars. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation.
October 6, 2016 - 1:00pm
Live podcast with Roxane Gay and Rachel Yoder.
Produced by draft: the journal of process and The Iowa Writers’ House.
October 4, 2016 - 7:00pm
Poets Susan Aizenberg and Lindsay Tigue will read from their new books of poetry.
Aizenberg will read from Quiet City, her third collection. “The noir-ish glamour of America’s mid-twentieth century regains its brutal edge in Susan Aizenberg’s Quiet City, and reminds us how the wounds of history keep on wounding . . .” —Kathy Fagan
Aizenberg is the winner of Virginia Commonwealth University's Levis Prize and the Nebraska Book Award for Poetry. She is the co-editor of The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women. She taught for many years in the writing programs at Creighton University in Omaha, and now lives in Iowa City.
Lindsay Tigue is the author of System of Ghosts, which was the winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize from the University of Iowa Press. “Lindsay Tigue has, first and foremost, a curious mind: her poems are motored by information . . . As in the poetry of Robyn Schiff and the prose of Eula Biss, esoteric facts, knit together carefully and with a gentle sense of mischievous humor, come to generalize about human suffering and hope.”—Craig Morgan Teicher
Tigue's work appears in Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Rattle, diode, and Hayden’s Ferry Review. She is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University and is a current PhD student in Creative Writing at the University of Georgia.
September 29, 2016 - 7:00pm
Writers’ Workshop graduate Zachary Vickers will read from his collection of linked stories, Congratulations on Your Martyrdom!
“Congratulations on Your Martyrdom! is one of the most addictive collections of short fiction I've read in years. Whimsical, wild and gleefully absurd to the point of wickedness, Vickers's stories revel in the collapse of American culture. Once these stories grab, they do not let go." ―Jessica Anthony
Zachary Tyler Vickers was a Provost’s Fellow while at Iowa, and is recipient of the Richard Yates Prize and the Clark Fisher Ansley Prize. His stories have appeared in The American Reader, KGB Bar Lit Journal, Hobart, Waccamaw, and elsewhere.
September 28, 2016 - 7:00pm
Writers’ Workshop Faculty Member, Margot Livesey, will read from her new novel, Mercury. This taut emotional thriller is the story of a married couple devoted to each other and their children until their lives are changed by a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past.
“Mercury demonstrates Tolstoy’s dictum: all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way. The Stevensons find themselves upended by a horse — a magnificent horse that sets off a chain of deceit and crime. This powerful novel reveals the fragility of life when tested by the shock of genuine passion.”—Ben Fountain
Margot Livesey is the NYT bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy, The House on Fortune Street, Banishing Verona, Eva Moves the Furniture, The Missing World, Criminals, and Homework. She is the recipient of grants from both the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. Born in Scotland, Livesey currently lives in the Boston area and Iowa City, where she teaches fiction writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
September 27, 2016 - 7:00pm
Teddy Wayne, award-winning author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, and Kapitoil, will read from his new novel, Loner, a novel as unsettling as it is impossible to put down. The protagonist is an academically gifted yet painfully forgettable freshman who arrives at Harvard fully expecting to be embraced by a new tribe of high-achieving like-minded peers. He finds it not to be so, and when he becomes infatuated by a beautiful and witty sophisticate, he becomes desperate to win her attention. As the novel progresses, morals begin to blur, and neither character is who they seem to be.
“Like a novel of manners distorted by a twisted funhouse mirror, Teddy Wayne’s Loner moves with wit and stealth and merciless deliberation towards increasingly brutal psychic terrain. Reading it, I found myself amused and then—with creeping force—afraid, repulsed, and ultimately unwilling to put it down." —Leslie Jamison
Teddy Wayne is the winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship as well as a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, PEN/Bingham Prize, and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He writes regularly for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and McSweeney’s. He lives in New York.
September 26, 2016 - 6:30pm
New Yorker Staff Writer Lauren Collins will read from her new memoir, When in French: Love in a Second Language. In her early thirties while living in London, Collins met and fell in love with a Frenchman. Their relationship was entirely in English, and Collins began to wonder what it might mean to love someone in a second language? When in French is a laugh-out-loud funny and surprising memoir about the lengths we go to for love, as well as an exploration across culture and history into how we learn languages and what they say about who we are. Lauren Collins, a staff writer at the New Yorker, is currently based in Europe, covering stories from London, Paris, Copenhagen, and beyond.
“Lauren Collins is one of the smartest, most humane, most charming writers I know. Nobody is more observant of fine details, or more curious about the big picture. In When in French, we finally see her mad skills and effortless touch on display in a book-length memoir— a love story about a person, a language, and a whole form of cultural knowledge. Collins makes the world seem like a bigger, more effervescent, more intoxicating place. “—Elif Batuman
Due to tonight's Presidential Debate, we have changed the start time to 6:30 PM
September 25, 2016 - 4:00pm
Violeta Gil was born in Spain in 1983. She studied English at Complutense University and Theater at the Royal Drama School. She’s worked as creator, director, play writer, and actress with her own company, La Tristura, since 2004. Materia Prima and El sur de Europa. Días de amor difíciles are two of her pieces. She moved to Iowa City in 2015, where she is getting her MFA in Spanish Creative Writing. She writes prose and poetry. She also dances ballet.
ko ko thett (poet, translator; Myanmar) has won a PEN Translation Award for Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets (2012), co-edited with James Byrne. His The Burden of Being Burmese (2015) explores the untenable notion of ‘‘Burmese.’’ After working in South East Asia and Europe, ko ko thett returned to his native Yangon. He writes in both Burmese and English. His participation is made possible by the Open Society Foundations.
Shenaz PATEL (fiction writer, playwright; Mauritius) has written many novels, plays, and short stories in both French and Mauritian Créole: best known is her 2005 novel Le silence des Chagos. As a working journalist, she writes about social and cultural issues; much of her writing seeks to unearth the unsaid and untold. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
September 24, 2016 - 7:00pm
Poet, memoirist and translator, Robin Magowan, will read from The Mirrored Spectrum, Versions of Bidel, which he has recently translated from the Persian. The poet, mystic and philosopher Mirza ‘Abd al-Qader Bidel (1644-1720) is India’s greatest writer in Persian and the last exponent of the innovative Indo-Persian style. Born in Patna, he lived most of his life in Delhi, serving as a soldier before taking a vow of poverty and becoming a wandering dervish.”
The author of ten poetry collections and a number of translations from French, Italian, Spanish and more recently Persian, Robin Magowan has also written an autobiography, Memoirs of a Minotaur, a collection of travel pieces, Improbable Journeys, a critical study of modern pastoral, Narcissus and Orpheus, and two accounts of continental cycle racing. His Garden of Amazement: Scattered Gems after Sâeb appeared from Longhouse in 2015. He resides on a hilltop above Santa Fe where he wrestles with a large rock garden.
September 19, 2016 - 7:00pm
Iowa City playwright and director Sean Lewis will talk about his new graphic novel illustrated by artist Benjamin Mackey, Saints: The Book of Blaise. Critically lauded, this is the story of a group of misfits who discover themselves to be the reincarnations of Catholic Saints. They find they must put aside their differences to battle the fallen angel Michael and his army of Doomsday Zealots. Humor and Heavy Metal combine in this audacious drama for adults.
Sean Lewis’ plays have been produced the United States and Europe winning the Kennedy Center’s Rosa Parks Award, the Barrymore Award, the Smith Prize and many more. His work has been published in the NY Times Sunday Magazine, the Huffington Post, and heard on NPR’S This American Life. He is the Artistic Director of Working Group Theater and Riverside Theater. This will be an in-conversation event with Tim Budd.