Live From Prairie Lights

Archive“Live from Prairie Lights” is an internationally known readings series, which features some of the best up-and-coming and well-established authors & poets from all over the globe. Presented before a live audience and streamed over the world wide web, this long running series brings the spoken word from the bookstore to the masses.
Most readings begin @ 7:00 p.m. Arrive early to assure yourself a seat.

The Writing University live streams many of our readings here.
The Live from Prairie Lights audio archive is available here.
Iowa City PATV has a video archive of readings located here.
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  • IWP READING: Anete Kruusmӓgi & Teresa Präauer

    October 11, 2015 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Anete Kruusmӓgi is currently studying traditional dance in Indonesia, and working on several novel projects. A regular contributor to Öhtuleht, a major Estonian daily, she also teaches creative writing in Indonesia.

    Teresa Präauer is the author of the novels Johnny und Jean (2014) and Für den Herrscher aus Übersee [For the Emperor from Overseas], which received the Aspekte prize for best German-language prose debut of 2012, as well as of a book of poetry postcards entitled [Pigeons’ Letters] (2009). In 2015 she received a Droste and a Hölderlin promotion award, and was shortlisted for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize. She regularly publishes on the subjects of poetry, theatre, pop culture and fine arts.

    This reading will be livestreamed at the Writing University:

  • JEFF BIGGERS-* Rescheduled to November 17th*

    October 13, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    (EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO NOVEMBER 17TH AT 7PM) 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


    October 14, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    In a special event co-sponsored by University of Northern Iowa, Paul Griner will talk about his new books; the short story collection Hurry Please I Want To Know, from Sarabande Press, and the thriller Second Life, published by Soft Skull Press. Hurry Please I Want to Know is a stylized and often surreal short story collection filled with sidelined characters placed at center stage. Of the novel Second Life, Lauren Groff says, “I'm a long-time fan of Paul Griner's elegant wit; and, still, Second Life comes as a swift and resonant surprise. It is a smart and darkly glimmering story, a hold-your-breath thriller written in finely wrought prose, and a book that will spark a hundred conversations about risk and love and the dignity inherent to our gorgeous, short-lived, all-too fleshly forms.”

    Paul Griner is the author of the acclaimed novels Collectors and The German Woman and the story collection Follow Me. He teaches creative writing at the University of Louisville.


    October 16, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Nina Revoyr & Joe Meno will read from their new fiction from Akashic Books.  

    Nina Revoyr will read from Lost Canyon.  In what is being called Revoyr’s best novel to date, four backpackers in the Sierra Nevada find more adventure than they ever imagined.  "A suspenseful adventure story that explores how people react to danger, uncertainty, fear, and life-or-death choices . . . This is an exciting, page-turning adventure story that reveals how good people can do things totally contrary to their own moral code, and the conclusion will both surprise and satisfy." —Publishers Weekly

    Nina Revoyr is the author of the novels The Age of Dreaming, Southland, and Wingshooters. Wingshooters  won an Indie Booksellers’ Choice Award and was selected by O, The Oprah Magazine as one of “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.” Revoyr lives and works in Los Angeles.

    Joe Meno will read from Marvel and a Wonder. In a starred review, Booklist says, "Evoking William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy, Meno's suspenseful, mordantly incisive, many-layered tale can also be read as an equine Moby-Dick. As he tracks the bewildering seismic shifts under way in America, Meno celebrates everyday marvels, including the hard-proven love between grandfather and grandson."

    Winner of a Nelson Algren Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a finalist for the 2008 Story Prize, Meno has written two short story collections and four novels, including Hairstyles of the Damned and The Great Perhaps. He teaches creative writing at Columbia College in Chicago.



    October 17, 2015 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Minnesota author Aimée Bissonette and Iowa City illustrator Claudia McGehee will present their new book, North Woods Girl. In this beautiful children’s book, an admiring granddaughter hikes in all seasons with her Grandma, the quintessential north woods girl. Time with Grandma teaches about quiet observation, generous sharing of resources, the beauty of the forest and pond at any hour. The forest of North Woods Girl is an active, populated place, brought to life by illustrator Claudia McGehee’s colorful scratchboard artistry.  

    Aimée Bissonette is a lawyer, teacher, and writer. She has written for trade publications and conducts training sessions for corporate, educational, and nonprofit groups on copyright, rights negotiation, and the legal issues associated with technology in schools. She practices law with Little Buffalo Law & Consulting in Minneapolis, MN. This is her first children’s book. Illustrator Claudia McGehee’s previous works include A Tallgrass Prairie Alphabet, A Woodland Counting Book, Where Do Birds Live, and My Wilderness: An Alaskan Adventure.

  • IWP READING: Rachel Rose, Kirill Timurovich Azernyi and Kelsey Vanada

    October 18, 2015 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Canadian author Rachel Rose is a recipient of the 2013 and 2016 Pushcart Prize, and of the Pat Lowther Poetry Award and the Audre Lorde Poetry Award for 2013. Her poetry books include Notes on Arrival and Departure  and Song and Spectacle; her essays have appeared in anthologies including Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood. Rose regularly contributes to literary journals including the Malahat Review and Prism International.

    Russian author Kirill Timurovich Azernyi has published two books of prose [The Present, 2011] and [A Doomsday Man, 2015]. He is the publisher of the magazine Zdes, dedicated to contemporary experimental prose, poetry, and essays.

    Kelsi Vanada is an MFA candidate in poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She teaches literature and creative writing for the University of Iowa, and translates from Spanish and Danish. Her poems and translations have appeared most recently in Berfrois and Prelude. She received a writing and research grant from the Danish American Heritage Society during the summer of 2015.


    October 19, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Master of the short story Joy Williams will read from her long awaited short story collection, The Visiting Privilege. In this collection, Williams’  incredible scope is put on display: thirty-three of the stories are drawn from earlier collections, and thirteen stories appear here for the first time in book form. These stories showcase her crisp, elegant prose, her dark wit, and her uncanny ability to illuminate our world through characters and situations that feel at once peculiar and foreign and disturbingly familiar.

    Joy Williams is the author of four novels, including The Quick and the Dead, three previous collections of stories, as well as Ill Nature, a book of essays.  She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and Laramie, Wyoming.     

    “If Williams keeps writing fiction—ruthless, hilarious work that holds our human folly to the fire—the novel and the short story won't perish anytime soon.” —Ben Marcus


    October 20, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Laura Apol will read from her moving new collection of poems, Requiem, Rwanda. The book has its roots in 2006, when the author made her first trip to Rwanda. Apol worked with Rwandan and American colleagues on a writing-for-healing project using narrative writing with young survivors of the 1994 genocide. During the time she spent leading workshops and in later visits, Apol wrote her own poems, which are accounts of a people post-genocide; where their stories go, how they reenter their lives, and how a country that has been deeply wounded by its history continues on.    

    Laura Apol is the author of Crossing the Ladder of the Sun, and her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. She is Associate Professor of Education at Michigan State University.


    October 21, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Eddie Moore and  Marguerite W. Penick-Parks will talk about their book, Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories. Everyday White People is a collection of stories by white activists who explore what is entailed in developing a white anti-racist identity.

    Dr. Eddie Moore is the founder of America & MOORE, LLC, which provides diversity, privilege and leadership trainings and workshops. He is the Founder and Program Director for the White Privilege Conference, which has become one of the top national and international conferences for participants who want to move beyond dialogue and into action around issues of diversity, power, privilege, and leadership. Dr. Moore has served as Director of Diversity at Brooklyn Friends School in Brooklyn, NY and The Bush School in Seattle, Washington. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in Education Leadership.

    Dr. Marguerite Penick-Park’s work centers on issues of power, privilege and oppression in relationship to issues of curriculum with a special emphasis on the incorporation of quality literature. She appears in the movie Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible by the World Trust Organization. She has taught at an inner-city high school, and currently serves as Chair of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

  • curtis bauer

    October 22, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Poet and translator, Curtis Bauer, will read from his own work and from his translations of the poems of Juan Antonio Gonzalez Iglesius. Curtis Bauer is the author of two poetry collections, most recently The Real Cause for Your Absence. The collection reflects Bauer’s cultural and aesthetic experience of living in both Spain and the US. The poet Gerald Stern calls Bauer a “a keen observer— a sane realist with a vivid imagination." Bauer will also read from his translated collection, Eros Is More, by Juan Antonio González Iglesias, a poet and professor at The University of Salamanca, Spain. Eros es Mas, the original Spanish version of Eros is More, was selected by El Cultural, El Mundo as the best collection of poetry in Spain in 2007. Christopher Merrill says that Curtis Bauer’s elegant translations allow us into the magical world of a poet who “understands the centrality of love."

    Curtis Bauer is the publisher and editor of Q Avenue Press Chapbooks, the Spanish Translations Editor for From the Fishouse, and “Emerging Spanish Poets” Series Editor for Vaso Roto Ediciones. He teaches Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.