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.
rss RSS


    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.