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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    September 19, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Graywolf Poets Matthea Harvey, Katie Ford and Jim Moore will read from their most recent books.

    Matthea Harvey will read from her newly released book, If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?  Harvey is the author of Sad Little Breathing Machine, Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form, Of Lamb, and Modern Life, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a New York Times Notable Book, and winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She has written two children’s books and is a contributing editor to jubilat, Meatpaper, and BOMB. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in Brooklyn.

    Jim Moore will read from Underground. Jim Moore is the author of seven books of poetry, including Invisible Strings and Lightning at Dinner. His poetry has appeared in the New Yorker, the Nation, and the Paris Review. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Spoleto, Italy.

    Katie Ford will read from Blood Lyrics. Katie Ford is the author of two previous poetry collections, Colosseum and Deposition. She has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Larry Levis Reading Award. She lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Franklin & Marshall College.


    September 20, 2014 - 3:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    North Liberty author Heather Weber will read from her memoir Dear Boy.  In this lyric memoir of loss, the narrator's relationship with a beloved brother disintegrates against the backdrop of her mother's mental illness and, ultimately, her brother's death. Part poetry, part elegy, Dear Boy grapples with the universal issues of human longing and grief while praising the unexpected beauty to be found in the wake of such sorrows. Heather Weber lives with her family in North Liberty, IA, where she works as an associate pastor at LIFE church.

  • IWP Reading: Corteau, Eckermann and Faruq

    September 21, 2014 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    IWP residents Auguste Corteau (Greece) and Ali Cobby Eckermann (Australia) will be joined by Nonfiction Writing Program MFA candidate Keanan Faruq at this free event.

    Auguste CORTEAU (fiction writer, playwright, translator; Greece) is the author of fourteen novels, among them [Shameless Suicides] (2005), [The Obliteration of Nikos] (2008), [Sixteen] (2010), and [The Book of Katherine] (2013), and the short story collection [The Man Who Ate Too Much] (2012). He also won the 2004 Greek National Book Award for Children’s Literature and the IBBY Prize for Best Children’s Novel. Corteau has translated over 30 titles, including the work of Apollinaire, Faulkner, Salinger, Proulx, Updike and Banville. He writes primarily in English, teaches creative writing, and is a self-taught pianist.

    Ali Cobby ECKERMANN (poet; Australia) is the author of six books, including the poetry collections Little Bit Long Time (2009), Kami (2010), Love Dreaming and Other Poems (2011), and Ruby Moonlight (2011), the verse novel His Father’s Eyes (2011) and a poetic memoir, Too Afraid to Cry (2013). Her awards include the Australia Poetry Centre’s 2008 New Poets Award and the 2013 Book of the Year for Ruby Moonlight. She co-edited Southerly Journal’s 2012 Aboriginal issue titled A Handful of Sand.


    September 22, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Poet, essayist, and president and editor-in-chief at Sarabande Books, Sarah Gorham will read from her new book of essays, Study in Perfect. Study in Perfect, recently published by University of Georgia Press, was the winner of the AWP Creative Nonfiction Award, selected by Bernard Cooper.  

    "Essays and musings considering the elusive and evocative idea of perfection . . . . Fear during a daughter's life-threatening illness, grief over her mother's death, nostalgia for family gatherings in summers past: All lead Gorham to consider how perfection is interlaced with pain, desire and even sin. A contemplative, lyrical, splendid collection." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    Gorham is the author of Don't Go Back to Sleep and The Tension Zone. Her poems have appeared in The Nation, The Paris Review, Grand Street, Poetry, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.


    September 23, 2014 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    The new chair of English PEN Maureen Freely, novelist, journalist, translator and activist, visiting UI as an Ida Beam Distinguished Professor, will read and talk about her fiction and translation work. English PEN is the founding centre of a global literary network that works to defend and promote free expression, and to remove barriers to literature.

    Maureen Freely has written seven novels, as well as non-fiction. She is professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick and the director of its writing program. Her novel Sailing through Byzantium was named as one of the best novels of 2014 in both the TLS and the Sunday Times, and she has translated five books by the Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk. Freely has worked closely with English PEN for 15 years, with a particular focus on freedom of expression in Turkey.


    September 23, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduates Caroline Manring and Julie Joosten will read from their new books of poetry.

    Caroline Manring will read from Manual for Extinction, published by The National Poetry Review Press. "Operating instructions for a disintegrating world and a field-guide to the vanishing, this startling first book tracks an ecopoetics of systems that persist despite it all. And though Manring fills her pages with the fragility of the animals at our mercy, counting humans among them, she does so with a wry eye and a surprising amount of bounce and zip." —Cole Swensen

    Caroline Manring's poetry has appeared in Colorado Review, Drunken Boat, Conduit, H_NGM_N, Sixth Finch, and elsewhere. She currently teaches creative writing and environmental literature at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She lives in Ithaca, New York.

    Julie Joosten will read from Light, Light. Light Light puts the hive back in the archive, the source in the resource. Through Joosten’s miraculous mode of attending, through this mind that “grounds sound to seed,” we are elemented – We are given a mode of attending that is precarious, is an enactment of the precariousness we are and, with consequence, institute.” – Jane Gregory

    Julie Joosten’s poems and reviews can be read in Jacket 2, Tarpaulin Sky, The Malahat Review, and The Fiddlehead. She lives in Toronto.


    September 24, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Kevin Clouther and Mike Meginnis will read from their new fiction, published by Black Balloon Press.

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate and Richard Yates Fiction Award-winner Kevin Clouther will read from We Were Flying to Chicago, his  stunning debut short story collection in which characters find unexpected moments of profound insight while navigating the monotony of daily life. "Kevin Clouther's remarkable collection illustrates, page by page, the unique joys of reading short fiction. By turns subversive and poignant, darkly humorous and deeply moving, these ten stories show us the author's expansive range and the heart that drives his imagination." —Bret Anthony Johnston

    Clouther has worked at The Iowa Review, Meridian and was fiction editor at The Virginia. He teaches creative writing at Stony Brook University, where he coordinates the Program in Writing Reading Series, and John Hopkins. He lives in Floral Park, New York with his wife and son.

    Iowa City resident & Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize-winner Mike Meginnis will read from Fat Man and Little Boy. In this striking debut novel, the atomic bombs dropped on Japan are personified. This small measure of humanity is a cruelty the bombs must suffer. Given life from death, the brothers' journey is one of surreal and unsettling discovery, transforming these symbols of mass destruction into beacons of longing and hope.

    Meginnis has published stories in Best American Short Stories 2012, The Collagist, PANK, and other journals. He earned his MFA at New Mexico State University, and  now lives and works in Iowa City, where he operates Uncanny Valley Press with his wife, Tracy Rae Bowling.


    September 25, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Edan Lepucki will read from her bestselling dystopian novel, California. California tells the apocalyptic story of a young couple, Cal and Frida, who flee a destroyed and decaying Los Angeles to live in the wilderness. When they discover Frida is expecting a baby, they seek protection from a guarded community and find that safety there comes with dangers of its own. California received a great deal of attention prior to publication when it was endorsed by Sherman Alexie on The Colbert Report, and it was championed by Colbert in a movement to support publisher Hachette by pre-ordering the book from independent bookseller Powell’s.   

    Lepucki is the author of the novella If You’re Not Yet Like Me, and her fiction has been published in McSweeney's, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Narrative Magazine, Meridian, and FiveChapters. In 2009 she received the James D. Phelan Award. She is a staff writer for The Millions, and she is the founder and director of Writing Workshops Los Angeles.


    September 26, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Lin Enger will read from his masterful Western reinvention of Homer's Odyssey, The High Divide. Ulysses Pope has left his family behind on the far edge of Minnesota’s western prairie with only the briefest of notes and no explanation for why he left or where he’s headed. It doesn’t take long for Gretta’s young sons, Eli and Danny, to set off after him, following the scant clues they can find, jumping trains to get where they need to go, and ending up in the rugged badlands of Montana.

    Enger is the recipient of a James Michener Award and a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship. His short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Ascent, Great River Review, Wolf Head Quarterly, and other journals. He teaches at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

    “A deeply moving, gripping novel about one man’s quest for redemption and his family’s determination to learn the truth . . .  Layered with meaning, this remarkable novel deserves to be read more than once. The High Divide proves Enger’s chops as a masterful storyteller.” —Ann Weisgarber 


    September 27, 2014 - 2:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Long-time Iowa City resident Gerhild Krapf will do a reading from Ring Around the Poesy, A Cycle of Children's Poems and Illustrations, which she wrote and illustrated. Inspired in part by her first-generation German upbringing, the book is a cycle of playful poems for children of all ages that is rooted in a fairy tale view of the world that celebrates animals, nature and many other joys of existence. Gerhild Krapf received bachelors and masters degrees in music (in organ, studying with her father, the late Gerhard Krapf, and Del Disselhorst) and later, JD and MBA degrees—all from the University of Iowa. She has held a variety of administrative positions at the University of Iowa, currently serving as Special Assistant to the Dean of the College of Law.