Prairie Lights

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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    December 2, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Kimberly Johnson will read from her third collection of poetry, Uncommon Prayer. Kimberly Johnson's new poems are a brash and brassy tussle with language—a reckoning with its potential to express rapture and desire. Johnson has established herself as one of the few poets today who successfully mesh learnedness with heart, her kinetic poems "thumping at the chest like a kickdrum."

    Johnson’s previous work includes Leviathan with a Hook and A Metaphorical God. Her poetry, translations, and scholarly essays have appeared widely in publications including The New Yorker, Slate, The Iowa Review, Milton Quarterly, and Modern Philology. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Utah Arts Council, and the Mellon Foundation. She is Associate Professor of English at Brigham Young University.       

    “Johnson has done what almost no one else has: managed to fuse high Western culture with the high country of the [American] West. She writes with Milton open at her elbow… but with the real dirt of a real Utah under her fingertips.”  —John Talbot  


    December 3, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Jan Weissmiller of Prairie Lights will be joined by Iowa Writers’ Workshop Faculty Lan Samantha Chang, James Galvin, Mary Szybist, Charles D’Ambrosio and Bennet Sims to read from Jean Ross Justice’s Family FeelingFamily Feeling, a novella and collection of stories, is a moving portrait of American domestic life of the last half-century. Often spanning generations, the stories are defined by subtle shifts in both family relationships and the ways in which we reconfigure them in memory and mind. Jean Ross Justice will sign copies of the book following the reading.

    Jean Ross Justice is the author of The End of a Good Party and Other Stories, published in 2008. Her stories have appeared in The Yale Review, The Antioch Review, Oxford American, Shenandoah, and elsewhere. She and her three siblings, James Ross, Fred Ross, and Eleanor Ross Taylor, grew up in rural North Carolina and all became writers. While attending the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, she met and married the poet Donald Justice. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa.


    December 5, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City native Oliver Bendorf will read from his book of poetry, The Spectral Wilderness, from Kent State University Press. The Spectral Wilderness was selected by Mark Doty for the 2013 Wick Poetry Prize. Bendorf’s poems have been published in Blackbird, Indiana Review, jubilat, and elsewhere, and anthologized in Best New Poets and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. He has received fellowships from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Lambda Literary Foundation and Vermont Studio Center. He earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is now an MA candidate in Library & Information Studies. He lives in Madison.

    “It’s a joy to come nearer to a realm of experience little explored in American poetry, the lives of those who are engaged in the complex project of transforming their own gender… Oliver Bendorf writes from a paradoxical, new-world position: the adult voice of a man who has just appeared in the world. A man emergent, a man in love, alive in the fluid instability of any category.” —Mark Doty