November 28, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduates Lauren Haldeman and Nick Twemlow will read from their new books of poetry, Instead of Dying and Attributed to the Harrow Painter. Haldeman’s Instead of Dying won the 2017 Colorado Prize for Poetry, and Susan Howe wrote: “Lauren Haldeman’s writing opens us toward the work of mourning. Did I say work? Rather call it song.” Twemlow’s Attributed to the Harrow Painter is “an ars poetica as well as a deconstruction of Twemlow’s own awestruck meditations on fatherhood . . . a refreshingly self-aware variation on the innovations of contemporary poetry.” — Publishers Weekly

    Lauren Haldeman is also the author of the poetry collection Calenday and chapbook The Eccentricity Is Zero. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, Fence, The Iowa Review, and The Rumpus. A comic book artist, illustrator, and poet, she has taught in the United States as well as internationally.

    Nick Twemlow’s first book of poems, Palm Trees, won the Norma Farber first book award from the Poetry Society of America. He serves as a senior editor for The Iowa Review and co-editor of Canarium Books, a publisher of contemporary poetry. His films have screened at MCA Chicago, Tribeca, SXSW, Slamdance, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing and film at Coe College.


    November 16, 2017 - 6:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Join us for our annual reading in support of The Iowa Youth Writing Project.
    10% of today's sales will go to support the IYWP. Treat yourself to an exceptional literary experience while helping to bring the gift of writing to K-12 kids throughout the state.

    See what all the brilliant IYWP kids from Johnson & Linn Counties have been up to this semester, and enjoy snacks and camaraderie in the cafe after the reading provided by The Iowa Youth Writing Project!


    November 15, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Ice Cube Press presents local author Ethel Barker, who will read from her new book of historical fiction, The Andersens of Eden. When World War II comes to the Andersens’ idyllic farm, their family life is forever changed as young men leave to fight and the rest stay behind to serve on the home front. A coming-of-age tale about the ways love, faith, and family combine to overcome the many tragedies of war.

    Ethel Barker is the author of For the Love of Pete: An Orphan Train Story, also from Ice Cube Press. She is a retired reading educator and lives in Iowa City.


    November 15, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Iowa City Public LIbrary, Rm D

    Our book this month is Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris, one of the great non-fiction works of the Midwest.

    "This rare and splendid book tells us much about the history and character of the Great Plains and their inhabitants, and much also about how dwelling in small towns, and in vast, remote places, may challenge and inform the spirit. The author makes it seem inevitable that, returning to her ancestral Dakota, she should develop a taste for simple, concrete language, should be drawn to the wisdom of the desert fathers, and should learn, among other lessons, that to embrace deprivation is to be free. Her writing has a firm, unstrained honesty, a love of the truth."—Richard Wilbur


    November 14, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Therapist Resmaa Menakem will read from his new book My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. "Resmaa Menakem masterfully lays out the missing piece in the puzzle of why, despite so many good intentions, we have not achieved racial justice. Yes, we need to understand white supremacy, but as Menakem so skillfully explains, white supremacy is not rational and we won't end it with our intellect alone. White supremacy is internalized deep into our bodies. We must begin to understand it as white body supremacy and go to the depth of where it is stored, within our collective bones and muscles. To this end, My Grandmother's Hands is an intimate guidebook toward racial healing, one that achieves that rare combination for its readers; it is deeply intellectually stimulating while also providing practical ways to engage in the process of repair, even as we read. I believe this book will change the direction of the movement for racial justice."--Robin DiAngelo

    Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP, has served as director of counseling services for the Tubman Family Alliance; as behavioral health director for African American Family Services in Minneapolis; as a domestic violence counselor for Wilder Foundation; as a certified Military and Family Life Consultant for the U.S. Armed Forces; as a trauma consultant for the Minneapolis Public Schools; and as a Cultural Somatics consultant for the Minneapolis Police Department. As a Community Care Counselor, he managed the wellness and counseling services for civilians on fifty-three US military bases in Afghanistan. Menakem studied and trained at Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, as well as with Dr. David Schnarch (author of the bestselling Passionate Marriage) and Bessel van der Kolk, MD (author of the bestselling The Body Keeps the Score). He currently teaches workshops on Cultural Somatics for audiences of African Americans, European Americans, and police officers. He is also a therapist in private practice. He has appeared on both The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil as an expert on conflict and violence.


    "Offers a well needed paradigm shift on how we think, dream, and strategize against white supremacy in our bodies, cultures, and institutions. A must-have for anyone interested in advancing Racial Justice and healing."--Chaka A. Mkali


    November 13, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    This event is co-sponsored by the UI School of Music, UI Honors Program, and the Alpha of Iowa Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. 

    Rolling Stone writer Anthony Decurtis will read from his biography Lou Reed: A Life, about the legendary Velvet Underground frontman and solo musician who inspired generations of musicians as the inventor of alternative rock. DeCurtis, who knew Reed and interviewed him extensively, tells the provocative story of his complex life with unparalleled access to dozens of Reed's friends, family, and collaborators. “DeCurtis was one of the few music critics Lou Reed read and whose company he enjoyed . . .  Anthony is a great story teller, a writer's writer, turning pain into beauty the way Lou did in his songs."― Bono

    Anthony DeCurtis is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, where his work has appeared for more than thirty-five years. He is the author of In Other Words and Rocking My Life Away and the cowriter of Clive Davis's autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life, a New York Times bestseller. DeCurtis is a Grammy Award winner and has served as a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee for twenty-five years. He is a distinguished lecturer in the creative writing program at the University of Pennsylvania. 


    November 9, 2017 - 8:00pm

    The Mill Restaurant

    Tickets available through The Mill

    Celebrated folk musician Dar Williams will give a concert and talk about her new book, What I Found In A Thousand Towns. Williams built her musical career touring America’s small towns, and has played their venues, composed in their coffee shops, and drunk in their bars. She has witnessed the struggle of these communities, but also seen them thrive in the face of post-industrial identity crises. Drawing from her own travels and the work of urban theorists, Williams muses on why some towns flourish while others fail, and offers real solutions to rebuild declining communities.

    Books will be for sale at the event.

    What I Found In A Thousand Towns “is not another in an endless parade of music memoirs . . . [it] reads as if Pete Seeger and Jane Jacobs teamed up, more a report from the Green party than the green room."―New York Times


    November 8, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Iowa City Public LIbrary

    Bestselling author Janet Fitch will read from her new novel, The Revolution of Marina M.  Of the book, Cynthia Bond (author of Ruby) wrote: "Incandescent. Fitch has expertly drawn the world of Russia in 1916 . . . Poets, artists, profiteers, soldiers, cult leaders, sadists, idealists, blood, sex, hope all piecing together in a new life, a new country. The brilliant Janet Fitch has written yet another powerful, kaleidoscopic novel."

    Janet Fitch's first novel, White Oleander, a #1 bestseller and Oprah's Book Club selection, has been translated into 24 languages and was made into a feature film. Her second novel, Paint It Black, hit bestseller lists across the country and has also been made into a film. She lives in Los Angeles.


    November 7, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    The Watchmaker of Filigree Street author Natasha Pulley will read from her eagerly anticipated new novel—a treacherous quest in the magical landscape of nineteenth-century Peru, The Bedlam Stacks. "The Peru that Markham and Tremayne encounter is a sheer fantastical delight. Exploding 'whitewood' trees, lamps made of glowing pollen, moving statues and rock formations of pure glass. Pulley also has a Tolkienian appreciation of the importance of cosiness: centrally heated ships' cabins, snug inns and lashings of hot coffee. What's more, she writes elegantly and plots like a pro." —The Times

    Natasha Pulley’s The Watchmaker of Filigree Street was an international bestseller, won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award. The Bedlam Stacks is her second novel. She lives in Bath, England.


    November 3, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Carmen Maria Machado will read from her short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, which is shortlisted for the 2017 National Book Award. “Machado is fluent in the vocabulary of fairy tales—her stories are full of foxes, foundlings, nooses and gowns—but she remixes it to her own ends . . . Not since Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves in 2006 has a debut collection of short stories from a relatively unknown author garnered such attention, or deserved it more...She doesn’t contain our terror, she stokes it and teaches us about it.”—New York Times

    Carmen Maria Machado’s work has appeared in Granta, the New Yorker, Guernica, Tin House, NPR, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Nebula Award and a Shirley Jackson Award, and was a finalist for the Calvino Prize. She lives in Philadelphia with her wife.