Live From Prairie Lights

"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.
rss RSS


    July 25, 2016 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Kodi Scheer will read from her crossover Y/A novel, Midair. “In this gripping novel of both suspense and regret, revenge and sorrow, the dark hearts of teenage girls search for weakness but find more than they bargained for. Midair is the story of best laid plans and all the ways in which we misunderstand each other, sometimes to catastrophic effect.” —Rebecca Scherm

    Kodi Scheer teaches writing at the University of Michigan, where she earned her MFA. She was awarded the Dzanc Prize for Excellence in Literary Fiction and Community Service. Her stories have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The Iowa Review, The Florida Review, Quarterly West, and Bellevue Literary Review. She has also served as writer-in-residence for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.



    July 26, 2016 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Author, activist, and conservationist Terry Tempest Williams will read from The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks. From the Grand Tetons in Wyoming to Acadia in Maine to Big Bend in Texas and more, Williams creates a series of lyrical portraits that illuminate the unique grandeur of each place while delving into what it means to shape a landscape with its own evolutionary history into something of our own making. Part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique, The Hour of Land is a meditation and a manifesto on why wild lands matter to the soul of America.

    Terry Tempest Williams is the award-winning author of fifteen books, including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, Finding Beauty in a Broken World, and When Women Were Birds. She lives in Castle Valley, Utah, with her husband, Brooke Williams.


    July 29, 2016 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    James Magruder will read from his third book, Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall.  "In Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall, James Magruder combines the sexual trysting and guilty pleasures of a telenovela with the witty dialogue of a drawing-room farce (though even better: this drawing room is a graduate residence dorm in the 1980s). Lurking, of course, is the specter of AIDS, a presence that Magruder invokes with the fear and consternation befitting the time . . . Magruder's language is so precise, so beautifully crafted and bitingly funny, that I laughed throughout and then nearly cried when Love Slaves of Helen Hadley ended." — Lori Ostlund

    James Magruder is a Baltimore-based fiction writer, playwright, and translator. He is the author of Sugarless, and Let Me See It. He teaches dramaturgy at Swarthmore College.


    July 30, 2016 - 6:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Steuart and Michelle Pincombe present Music in Familiar Spaces, with a performance titled The Bach Reader. Cellist Steuart Pincombe will bring the audience into the world of J.S. Bach not only through his music, but in reading letters and stories of the composer. Featuring selections from three of Bach’s well-known cello suites, Pincombe will present the readings interlaced with his playing, giving listeners a sense of Bach as a person. Steuart and Michelle Pincombe’s nation-wide tour, Music in Familiar Spaces, makes high caliber classical music available in familiar, comfortable and untraditional spaces, inviting the audience to experience the music in a new and engaging way.  Audience members are welcome to order drinks at the cafe to enjoy during the concert.

    Steuart Pincombe has been named by the Strad Magazine as a “superb solo cellist” and a “gorgeous player [with] perfect intonation, imaginative phrasing” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has performed with Holland Baroque Society for King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands, and his his appearance as a soloist with Rene Schiffer and Apollo's Fire was numbered in The London Telegraph’s 5 Best Classical Music Moments of 2014.' Steuart holds a BM in modern cello and a MM in viola da gamba and baroque cello from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Steuart Pincombe and his wife Michelle left professional careers in Europe for a chance to live in a 1959 19-foot travel trailer on a yearlong journey around North America. This Music in Familiar Spaces concert is free thanks to a partnership with Credo Music, a chamber music festival based in Oberlin, Ohio. 


    July 31, 2016 - 2:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join us for a reading from Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change. Through short stories, essays, and poems, women from different age groups, geographic locations, marital status, parenting status, professions, and sexual orientations share their experiences of growth as a result of change. This inspirational book highlights the strength of women as their life shifts ultimately lead to increased confidence and internal peace. The reading will include contributors Rita Moe, Jessica Glover, Amy Nolan, Thelma Zirkelbach, Marianne Taylor, and editors Trina Sotira and Michelle Duster.