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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    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.


    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.


    December 4, 2015 - 5:30pm

    Prairie Lights


    Local artist Nancy Purington will show slides from Moonlight on the Mississippi, her new book from Penfield Books of Iowa City. Moonlight on the Mississippi features an extensive collection of paintings and photographs of the Mississippi River. Purington was born in Scott County, Iowa, where the Mississippi River meets the Wapsipinicon. There, the vast space, luminous color, reflections, refractions and infinite change provided the inspiration for her artwork. Nancy Purington has a B.F.A. in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute and an M.F.A. in Design from the University of Iowa. She taught Textile Arts for several years and is now a full-time studio artist in addition to being a part-time designer and consultant.

    “Purington’s aesthetic sensibilities combine medieval perspective and modern art intention with traditional and experimental methods. Indigo, lapis, cobalt, cadmium, gold, silver, palladium, sticks, stones, shells, pearls, and digital photographs express the transformational nature of the Mississippi River experience . . . She helps us to see the endless beauty of the river and to contemplate the mystery of a moment, encouraging us to live, to look closer, again and again.” —Jane Milosch



    December 6, 2015 - 10:00am

    Davenport Public Library

    Beloved children’s author and illustrator Jan Brett will be at the Davenport Public Library at 10 a.m. to present her terrific new title The Turnip. It is an old fairy tale with a new twist, colorfully wrought with Brett's iconic illustrations. Prairie Lights will be there with The Turnip as well as many of her other titles available for purchase. Advance (free) tickets are recommended, and can be obtained at Prairie Lights children's department or from the Davenport Library. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.


    December 6, 2015 - 2:00pm

    Iowa City Public Library

    Beloved children’s author and illustrator Rosemary Wells will visit the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, at 2 p.m. for a video presentation about her life and work, and to share her thoughts about reading, writing and illustrating. A signing will follow. No pre-registration is needed. An assortment of her books will be available for purchase. Everyone is welcome!


    December 7, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Alexander Wolff will show slides and talk about his new book, The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama. Wolff chronicles Obama’s love of the game from age 10, on the campaign trail —where it eventually took on talismanic meaning—and throughout his two terms in office. More than 125 photographs illustrate Obama dribbling, shooting free throws, playing pickup games, cooling off with George Clooney, challenging his special assistant Reggie Love for a rebound, and taking basketball to political meetings. There is also an assessment of Obama’s influence on the NBA, including a dawning political consciousness in the league’s locker rooms. Equal parts biographical sketch, political narrative, and cultural history, The Audacity of Hoop shows how the game became a touchstone in Obama’s exercise of the power of the presidency.  

    Alexander Wolff is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated and the author of Big Game, Small World: A Basketball Adventure.

    “The cool, the flow, the edge, the drive, the individual and the team, the black and white – all of that is Barack Obama, playing basketball, the American game. To those who consider the president a mystery, The Audacity of Hoop offers a key to understanding him, through Alex Wolff's fluid prose and Pete Souza's evocative photographs."—David Maraniss


    December 9, 2015 - 6:30pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join Prairie Lights and Director of the Undergraduate Nonfiction Writing Program Bonnie Sunstein in celebrating the semi-annual Writers Gone Public reading.

    The event from 6:30 to 8:30 pm will feature current undergraduate students who study with MFA Nonfiction faculty, reading excerpts from essays they have written this semester.