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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  • POETRY READING IN TRANSLATION

    March 22, 2015 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Poetry Faculty from The Iowa Writers’ Workshop join members of The Spanish MFA Program for a special reading of poetry in translation.

  • CLAUDIA MCGEEHEE

    March 24, 2015 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Local author and artist Claudia McGeehee will present her new book, My Wilderness: An Alaskan Adventure. Accompanied by her gorgeous vivid scratchboard-style illustrations, McGehee's lyrical nonfiction story recounts the 1918-1919 winter spent on Alaska's Fox Island from the point of view of nine-year-old Rocky, son of the painter Rockwell Kent.

    Claudia McGehee is an award-winning author and illustrator of three natural history picture books. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Iowa City with her family. 

  • JESSICA JACOBS & NICKOLE BROWN

    March 24, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Poets Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs will read from their new collections—Fanny Says, from BOA Editions, and Pelvis with Distance, from White Pine Press.

    Nickole Brown will read from Fanny Says, a biography in poems about her grandmother. Brown is the author of Sister, fromRed Hen Press and an anthology, Air Fare, that she co-edited with Judith Taylor. She has received grants from the NEA, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Kentucky Arts Council. She is an editor at White Pine Press and Assistant Professor at University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

    “Nickole Brown’s unleashed love song to her grandmother is raucous and heart-rending, reflective and slap-yo-damn-knee hilarious, a heady meld of lyrical line and life lesson.” – Patricia Smith

    Jessica Jacobs will read from her debut, Pelvis with Distance, a biography in poems about Georgia O’Keefe. Jacobs’s work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Cave Wall, Iron Horse, The Missouri Review, Poet Lore, and Rattle, and other journals and anthologies. Jessica has been Editor-in-Chief of Sycamore Review, and is now a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Hendrix College. Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs are married and live in Little Rock, Arkansas.

    “And just as the artist distilled the essence of her subject matter, abstracting from flowers and bones, landscapes and clouds, a vivid story of her walk in the sun, so Jessica Jacobs discovers a vibrant music rooted in portraiture.” —Christopher Merrill

  • ELIZABETH COLLISON

    March 25, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Elizabeth Collison will read from her new novel, Some Other Town.  Channeling the emotional intensity of Susan Minot and Amy Bloom—and infused with a witty, dream-like surrealism reminiscent of Margaret Atwood—this mesmerizing debut takes us inside the unsettling world of Margaret Lydia Benning, which turns upside down when she falls in love . . . and then unravels before our eyes.

    “In her charming, emotionally true debut novel, Elizabeth Collison captures the queasiness of young adulthood as an intelligent young woman discovers just what, and whom, she wants.” —Michelle Huneven

    Elizabeth Collison grew up in the Midwest and now lives in the San Francisco Bay area. This is her first novel.

  • RANDALL POTTS & MALACHI BLACK

    March 26, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Randall Potts will read from Trickster, published by University of Iowa Press. Potts is the author of the collection Collision Center and chapbook, Recant: (A Revision). His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Five Fingers Review, The Iowa Review, and Unsplendid. He has taught creative writing at the University of San Francisco and California College of the Arts. He lives in Berkeley, California.

    "I admire the clarity, the urgency, the invention, the intelligence, and the commitment of Randall Potts's new book of poems. A terrific book."—Gerald Stern

    Malachi Black will read from Storm Toward Morning, from Copper Canyon Press. Malachi Black's poems appear in AGNI, Boston Review, Narrative, Ploughshares, and Poetry, among other journals and anthologies. The recipient of the 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship has also received fellowships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the MacDowell Colony, the Sewanee Writer's Conference, the University of Texas at Austin's Michener Center, the University of Utah, and Yaddo. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of San Diego and lives in California.

    "Formally exacting and creatively expansive, Black is an intensely inquisitive John Donne for the Millennial generation." — Publishers Weekly

  • RILEY HANICK

    March 27, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City native, Riley Hanick, will read from his new book from Sarabande Press, Three Kinds of Motion: Kerouac, Pollock, and the Making of American Highways.

    In this powerful meditation on the convergence of Jack Kerouac's composition of "On The Road," Jackson Pollock's painting of his seminal work "Mural," and the development of The Interstate Highway System, Riley Hanick juxtaposes intimate accounts of the lives of the artists with the politics behind the development and construction of the interstate to create a moving portrait of the zeitgeist of the mid-twentieth century. 

    Riley Hanick is an essayist, journalist, and translator whose writing has appeared in The Sonora Review, Seneca Review, No Depression, eyeshot, and Labor World. His work has received support from the Jentel and McKnight foundations. He holds an MFA in Creative NonFiction from The University of Iowa and has served as a writer-in-residence for the University of Iowa Museum of Art. He teaches at Murray State University, where he is the Watkins Chair in Creative Writing and serves as the nonfiction editor for New Madrid.

    "Like a great conversationalist, Hanick paints a generous canvas, and I rode the length of this powerful book much like I first experienced the American interstate: songs on the stereo, windows down, and the bittersweet sense that youth is fleeting. Three Kinds of Motion holds open a wild and beautiful journey, not to be missed."—Thalia Field

  • CLAUDIA MCGEEHEE

    March 28, 2015 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Local author and artist Claudia McGeehee will present her new book, My Wilderness: An Alaskan Adventure. Accompanied by her gorgeous vivid scratchboard-style illustrations, McGehee's lyrical nonfiction story recounts the 1918-1919 winter spent on Alaska's Fox Island from the point of view of nine-year-old Rocky, son of the painter Rockwell Kent.

    Claudia McGehee is an award-winning author and illustrator of three natural history picture books. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Iowa City with her family. 

  • ANDER MONSON

    March 31, 2015 - 6:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    In this special event co-sponsored by The Mission Creek Festival, Ander Monson will read from his new book of essays, Letter to a Future Lover. In this book, Monson writes in response to ephemera found in library books — marginalia, slips of paper, fingerprints, highlighting, inscriptions. Through these witty, idiosyncratic essays, Monson reflects on the human need to catalog, preserve, and annotate; the private and public pleasures of reading; the nature of libraries; and how the self can be formed through reading and writing.

    Ander Monson is the author of six books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Editor of the New Michigan Press, DIAGRAM <thediagram.com>, and Essay Daily, he lives in Tucson, Arizona.