December 3, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    In a special event introduced by NWP founder Carl Klaus, bestselling Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program Alums Hope Edelman, Joe Blair and Will Jennings will read from the new anthology, I’ll Tell You Mine: Thirty Years of Essays from the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. Over the past three decades the NWP has produced some of the most influential nonfiction writers in the country. I’ll Tell You Mine, edited by Hope Edelman and Robin Hemley, contains eighteen pieces produced by Iowa graduates that exemplify the development of both the program and the field of nonfiction writing. Each is accompanied by commentary from the author on a challenging issue presented by the story and the writing process, including drafting, workshopping, revising, and listening to (or sometimes ignoring) advice.


    November 28, 2015 - 11:00am

    Prairie Lights


    Iowa City author Dr. Oscar Beasley will sign copies of his book Bicycling Volume II: An Activity that has no Age Limits.  Dr. Beasley is a retired general internist whose love of bicycling has kept him fit and healthy since he took it up in the 1970’s during the oil crisis. Since his retirement in 2002 at the age of 75, he has ridden regularly throughout southeastern Iowa. The book depicts Dr. Beasley’s participation in long distance group bicycle tours as well as solo tours of large cities in North America, Latin America and Europe.


    Iowa City children's author Sarah Prineas will be in the children’s department from 1–3 pm giving expert recommendations on children’s books for holiday gift-giving.


    November 22, 2015 - 3:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    As part of their 40th anniversary celebration, Friends of Historic  Preservation have published Marybeth Slonneger’s new book Finials: A View of Downtown Iowa City. The book which highlights the social and economic center of Iowa City over its more than 175 years of existence. Please join us for a reading by several  contributors to the book.


    November 20, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Longtime Iowa City resident Gerhild Krapf will do a reading from Ring Around the Poesy II, A Cycle of Children's Poems and Illustrations, which she wrote and illustrated. A follow-up to her previous volume, the book is inspired by her first-generation German upbringing. It is a cycle of playful poems for children of all ages that is rooted in a fairy tale view of the world that celebrates animals, nature, and many other joys of existence.

    Krapf received bachelor's and master's degrees in music (in organ, studying with her father, the late Gerhard Krapf, and Del Disselhorst) and later, JD and MBA degrees—all from the University of Iowa. She held a variety of administrative positions at the University of Iowa for over 30 years, and she is now a realtor for Blank & McCune. She lives in Iowa City.


    November 19, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Local author Patrick Irelan will read from his first mystery novel,
    The Big Drugstore, published by Ice Cube Press. Written with a touch of Raymond Chandler, this rollicking, wisecracking, crime novel’s action goes from bridge to bridge, city to city, and even takes a jaunt down to Iowa’s only island town, Sabula. Irelan is the author of two books of comic short stories—Reruns and The Miracle Boy, and two books of family memoir; Central Standard and A Firefly in the Night.

    “The rhythm and phrasing of Patrick Irelan’s noir narrative is so natural you can almost hear someone blowing tenor under the bridge down by the river. The Big Drugstore reads like it was typed on a Royal portable at 2 am in a sleeping room above a bar. I’m sure the manuscript stank of spilled bourbon and cigarettes.” —J. Harley McIlrath


    November 18, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Iowa City Public Library

    A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion

    The meet up has been cancelled and is rescheduled for November 24.


    November 18, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Jeffrey Harrison will read from his most recent book of poetry, Into Daylight. Winner of the Dorset Prize, selected by Tom Sleigh, Into Daylight reflects on the daily familiarities and fragilities experienced in a long marriage and as a parent of teenagers, refracted through the shock of a brother's suicide. Limpid and direct on the surface but eloquent in resonance, Into Daylight asks what comes after: How to live, how to continue writing, and how to find one's proper relationship with the world and restore some semblance of delight, while giving voice to sadness and pain.

    Harrison’s poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Yale Review, Poets of the New Century. He has taught at George Washington University, Phillips Academy, and College of the Holy Cross. He is currently on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. He lives in Dover, Massachusetts.

    “It’s thrilling to read an entire book of poems written with such pleasure and gusto… about a range of ordinary things — salt, rowing a boat, discarded books, a stinking pond — and he gets more out of his subjects than seems possible.” — Philip Levine


    November 17, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City author Jeff Biggers will talk about his new book, Damnatio Memoriae: A Play / Una Commedia. Damnatio Memoriae explores the role of the theatre amid the conflicts of immigration, human rights, citizenship, family, and legacy. From the clash of two theatre troupes on stage; one Italian, and the other composed of foreign actors, a new play emerges, revealing the history of Ancient Rome, its forgotten emperors, entangled cultural heritage, and today’s unfolding stories on the Mediterranean Sea.

    Biggers serves as the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Iowa's Office of Sustainability, where he founded the Climate Narrative Project. He is the American Book Award winning author of several works of history and memoir, including State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Showdown Over the American Dream, and Reckoning at Eagle Creek. His stories have appeared on NPR, and in the Atlantic, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Author and performer of original monologues, his play Across the Stones of Fire toured nationally and won the Greener Planet Award at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity in New York City.

    "Damnatio Memoriae is a brilliant and provocative work that uses humor, parody and a deep-seated sense of justice to remind us of the multi-ethnic nature of the Roman Empire and, through that, to alert us to the loss of memory and to the historical challenges of our time."–Alessandro Portelli


    November 16, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Journalist Ada Calhoun will talk about her new book, St. Marks is Dead. St. Marks Place in New York City has spawned countless artistic and political movements. Here Frank O Hara caroused, Emma Goldman plotted, and the Velvet Underground wailed. But every generation of miscreant denizens believes that their era, and no other, marked the street s apex. This idiosyncratic work of reportage tells the many layered history of the street from its beginnings as Colonial Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant's pear orchard to today's hipster playground organized around those pivotal moments when critics declared St. Marks is dead.

    In a narrative enriched by hundreds of interviews and dozens of rare images, St. Marks native Ada Calhoun profiles iconic characters from W. H. Auden to Abbie Hoffman, from Keith Haring to the Beastie Boys, among many others. She argues that St. Marks has variously been an elite address, an immigrants haven, a mafia warzone, a hippie paradise, and a backdrop to the film Kids but it has always been a place that outsiders call home.

    Journalist Ada Calhoun has done hard-news reporting for the New York Post, the New York Times Magazine, and the New Republic. Born and raised on St. Marks Place, she lives in Brooklyn.


    November 15, 2015 - 7:00pm

    The Englert Theatre

    Tickets available now! $35 includes a copy of her new book, Dear Mr. You.

    Award-winning actress Mary-Louise Parker will read from and talk about Dear Mr. You, her wonderfully unconventional literary debut. Parker will be joined on stage by Iowa City actor and Prairie Lights bookseller, Tim Budd.

    Mary-Louise Parker is the recipient of a Tony, an Emmy, and a Golden Globe award. She is known for her television roles on Weeds, The West Wing, as well as The  Angels in America Mini-Series. Her film work includes . . . Broadway.  Her writing has appeared in Esquire, The Riveter, Bust, and The Bullet. This is her first book.

    An extraordinary literary work, Dear Mr. You renders the singular arc of a woman’s life through letters Mary-Louise Parker composes to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today. Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers to an homage to a firefighter she encountered to a heartfelt communication with the uncle of the infant daughter she adopted. Readers will be amazed by the depth and style of these letters, which reveal the complexity and power to be found in relationships both loving and fraught.

    Tickets are $35 and include a copy of the book. They can be purchased at Prairie Lights Bookstore 15 S. Dubuque St Iowa City  (319 337-2681) or the Englert Theatre 221 E Washington St Iowa City (319) 688-2653