September 28, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Join editor Harry Stecopoulos as he hosts a reading of prose and poetry from current and forthcoming issues of The Iowa Review. Writers Amber Dermont,
    Hai-Dang Phan, and D.J. Savarese will read. A celebratory reception will conclude the evening.

    Amber Dermont is the New York Times best-selling author of The Starboard Sea and Damage Control. She teaches fiction writing at Rice University and is currently a visiting professor in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

    Hai-Dang Phan is the author of Small Wars, a chapbook of poems (Conclusive Editions, 2016). A graduate of the University of Florida’s MFA program in creative writing, he lives in Des Moines and teaches at Grinnell College.

    D.J. Savarese studied anthropology and creative writing at Oberlin College, where he was a recipient of the William Battrick Poetry Fellowship and an ASAN Scholar Fellow. His poems and lyric essays have appeared in The Iowa Review, Prospect, Seneca Review, Stone Canoe, Wordgathering, and Voices for Diversity and Social Justice: A Literary Education AnthologyFour of his poems can be seen this fall in the ITVS-funded documentary "Deej," which he coproduced and narrated. 




    September 27, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Ida Beam visiting lecturer Rosanna Warren will read from her poetry. This special event is co-sponsored by the International Writing Program. Rosanna Warren is the Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor at the Univ. of Chicago. She has received numerous awards, served as Chancellor of the Academy of Amer. Poets from 1999 to 2005, and is a member of the Amer. Academy of Arts and Letters, the Amer. Academy of Arts and Science, and the Amer. Philosophical Soc.

    She is the author of Earthworks: Selected Poems, Ghost in a Red Hat: Poems, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, and Departure: Poems.  


    September 26, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Ariel Gore will read from her new fiction from The Feminist Press, We Were Witches. In this novel, Ariel Gore is a teen mom, aspiring writer, and feminist witch trying to get a college education during the first Bush administration, all the while combating queer scapegoating, domestic violence, and high-interest student loans.

    Ariel Gore is the founding editor/publisher of Hip Mama, an Alternative Press Award winning publication covering the culture and politics of motherhood. She is the author of  numerous books and her anthology Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City won a Lambda Literary Award in 2010. She has taught at The Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon, at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. She currently teaches online at Ariel Gore's School for Wayward Writers.


    September 24, 2017 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Enza García Arreaza (fiction writer, poet; Venezuela) is an essayist for the cultural platform Backroom Caracas and for the magazine Climax. In 2016, she was selected by the Guadalajara International Book Fair for “Ochenteros,” a program for Latin American writers born in the 1980s. Her short story collection El bosque de los abedules [The Forest of Birches] won the 2010 National University Literature Prize of Simon Bolívar University; the story volume Cállate poco a poco [Be Quiet Slowly] won the 2007 Contest for Unpublished Authors. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

    Anne Kennedy (fiction writer, screenwriter, poet; New Zealand) received the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Award for Poetry for The Darling North; in 2014 her novel The Last Days of the National Costume was a finalist for the New Zealand Post Book Award and was longlisted for the IMPAC-Dublin Award. In 2016 she was in residence at the Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. During her career, she has been an advocate for Maori and Pasifika voices. Her participation is made possible by Creative New Zealand. 

    John Vater is a student in the MFA in Literary Translation Program at the University of Iowa. He has worked in the publishing industry in India, and translates from the Hindi.


    September 22, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Longmire author Craig Johnson will talk about his work and sign books at Prairie Lights to promote the hardcover release of his new book The Western Star, and the paperback edition of An Obvious Fact.  "A Walt Longmire novel is like going on a ride-along with an old friend, watching him ferret out the bad guys with wit and humanity (and more than a few bullets), while we swap stories and catch up on old's An Obvious Fact—it's good to have Walt back on the scene."—Mystery Scene

    Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. He is the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, and his novella Spirit of Steamboat was the first One Book Wyoming selection. He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five.


    September 21, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Jenny Zhang will read from her fiction debut, Sour Heart: Stories. These stories cut across generations and continents, moving from the fraught halls of a public school in Flushing, Queens, to the tumultuous streets of Shanghai, China, during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. In the absence of grown-ups, latchkey kids experiment on each other until one day the experiments turn violent; an overbearing mother abandons her artistic aspirations to come to America but relives her glory days through karaoke; and a shy loner struggles to master English so she can speak to God.

    Jenny Zhang is the author of the poetry collection Dear Jenny We are all Find, and the chapbook Hags. She lives in New York City.


    September 20, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Bennett Sims will read from his new collection of stories, White Dialogues. A house-sitter alone in a cabin in the woods comes to suspect that the cabin may need to be "unghosted. "A raconteur watches as his life story is rewritten on an episode of This American Life. And in the collection's title story, a Hitchcock scholar sitting in on a Vertigo lecture is gradually driven mad by his own theory of cinema. Sims moves from slow-burn psychological horror to playful comedy, bringing us into the minds of people who are haunted by their environments, obsessions, and doubts.

    Bennett Sims is the author of the novel, A Questionable Shape, winner of the 2014 Bard Fiction Prize. His fiction has appeared in A Public Space, Conjunctions, Electric Literature, Tin House, and Zoetrope: All-Story. He is teaching fiction writing this semester at the Writers’ Workshop.


    September 19, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Craig Pearson will talk about his book, The Supreme Awakening: Experiences of Enlightenment Throughout Time. Throughout history, great men and women have described exalted experiences of extraordinary wakefulness, freedom, and bliss — as different from our ordinary waking experience as waking is from dreaming. Laozi, Plato, Rūmī, St. Teresa of Avila, Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Black Elk, Einstein — people of all times and places have described experiences that rank among the most inspiring in all of literature. The Supreme Awakening shows that the sublime experiences reported by great people across time are real, universal, and understandable in terms of modern science. Craig Pearson is Executive Vice-President of Maharishi University of Management, in Fairfield, Iowa.

    "No matter what your religion is — no matter what nationality— no matter what walk of life — if you are a human being, get this book — read it — get inspired by it — and act upon it — right away!"
    —David Lynch



    September 18, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    In a special event sponsored by the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program, Brendan Wolfe will read from Finding Bix: The Life and Afterlife of a Jazz Legend.  Bix Beiderbecke was one of the first great legends of jazz. Among the most innovative cornet soloists of the 1920s and the first important white player, he invented the jazz ballad and pointed the way to "cool" jazz. But his recording career lasted just six years; he drank himself to death in 1931—at the age of twenty-eight. It was this meteoric rise and fall, combined with the searing originality of his playing and the mystery of his character—who was Bix? not even his friends or family seemed to know—that inspired subsequent generations to imitate him, worship him, and write about him.

    Brendan Wolfe is a native of Bix Beiderbecke's hometown of Davenport, Iowa, and received his MFA from the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. He is the editor of Encyclopedia Virginia, and is the author of Mr. Jefferson's Telescope. He has published essays in The Morning News, Colorado Review, and VQR. Wolfe lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.


    September 17, 2017 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Ubah Cristina Ali Farah (fiction writer, poet, playwright, translator; Italy) is a Somali-Italian novelist, performer, teacher and social activist. Her two novels, Madre piccola [Little Mother, Indiana UP 2011] and Il Comandante del fiume [The Commander of the River] tell stories of the Somali civil war and its refugees in Italy. In 2006, she was awarded the Lingua Madre National Literary Prize, and in 2008, the Vittorini Prize. She has a PhD in African Studies from the University of Naples; currently she lives in Brussels. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. 

    Esther Dischereit (poet, novelist, essayist, stage and radio dramatist; Germany) has given lectures and readings around the world. Most recently she published Blumen für Otello. Über die Verbrechen von Jena [Flowers for Othello. On the Crimes of Jena] and edited Havel, Hunde, Katzen, Tulpen, Garz erzählt [Havel, Dogs, Cats, Tulips – Garz Talking]. Her work spans multiple genres and often reflects the post-Holocaust landscape in Germany, e.g. Joëmis Tisch [Joëmis Table] and  Übungen jüdisch zu sein [Exercises in Being Jewish]. In 2009 Dischereit received the Erich Fried Prize. In 2017 she was a visiting professor at the University of Virginia; she teaches at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna. Her participation is made possible by the Max Kade Foundation.

    Benjamin Krusling is a poet and artist who has lived in Ohio and New York. His recent work has appeared in The New InquiryHyperallergic, and Tagvverk, among others. The winner of Sonora Review's 2017 Poetry Prize, selected by Anselm Berrigan, Benji has received fellowships from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Naropa University.