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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    May 3, 2015 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Local author Cate Dicharry will read from her new novel, The Fine Art of F***ing Up. This humorous send-up of art world academia takes place at a prestigious Midwestern art school that houses a priceless Jackson Pollock. "Cate Dicharry has an unwaveringly merciless eye for the bogus aspects of art school. But you don't need a BA in Painting or Performance Studies to enjoy the screwball comedy of The Fine Art of Fucking Up. An affectionate yet unsparing view of how easy it is to lose one's way." —Sara Levine

    Cate Dicharry is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College,and has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Low Residency Program at the University of California, Riverside. She lives in Iowa City with her husband and sons.


    May 4, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduates Benjamin Percy and Nickolas Butler will read from their new fiction.

    Benjamin Percy will read from The Dead Lands.  “Benjamin Percy’s The Dead Lands is a case of wonderful writing and compulsive reading. You will not come across a finer work of sustained imagination this year. Good God, what a tale. Don’t miss it.” —Stephen King

    Benjamin Percy is the author of the novels Red Moon and The Wilding, and two short story collections, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. His writing has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Time, Tin House and elsewhere. His honors include the Pushcart Prize, an NEA grant, the Plimpton Prize for Fiction, and a Whiting Award. Raised in the high desert of central Oregon, he lives in Minnesota.

    Nickolas Butler will read from his new book of short stories, Beneath the Bonfire. “Sentence-by-sentence, Beneath the Bonfire is a truly beautiful collection that offers full and big-hearted tales of people leaning on one another when the world turns on them. It's a love letter to a landscape, yes, but it's also elegiac, funny, and dazzlingly dreamy, a look into the complicated inner lives of outwardly stoic souls. These stories warm and snap your heart all at once.” —Dean Bakopoulos

    Nickolas Butler is the author of Shotgun Lovesongs, which  received the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, the Great Lakes Great Reads Award, and France's Prix Page/America. His writings have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, The Progressive, The Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. Butler lives in Wisconsin with his wife and their two children.


    May 5, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Iowa City Public Library

    Jon Katz will talk about his latest book, Saving Simon. The latest story about Katz’s life at Bedlam Farm describes how the author rescued and fell in love with a neglected donkey who proved a loyal listener and companion, prompting the author to confront personal challenges and learn new lessons about compassion. Jon Katz has written twenty-six books, including works of nonfiction, novels, short stories, and books for children; he is also a photographer. Katz has written many bestselling books about his dogs, including A Dog Year. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and  Rolling Stone. He lives in upstate New York with his wife, the artist Maria Wulf, and their dogs, donkeys, barn cats, sheep, and chickens.

    "With wisdom and grace, Katz unlocks the canine soul and the complicated wonders that lie within and offers powerful insights to anyone who has ever struggled with, and loved, a troubled animal."—John Grogan


    May 6, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    In a special event sponsored by the Nonfiction Writing Program, Vivian Gornick will read from her new memoir, The Odd Woman and the City. The Odd Woman and the City explores the rhythms, chance encounters, and ever-changing friendships of urban life that forge the sensibility of a fiercely independent woman who has lived out her conflicts, not her fantasies, in a city that has done the same. Written as a narrative collage that includes meditative pieces on the making of a modern feminist, the role of the flaneur in urban literature, and the evolution of friendship over the past two centuries, The Odd Woman and the City beautifully bookends Gornick's acclaimed Fierce Attachments, in which we first encountered her rich relationship with the ultimate metropolis.

    Vivian Gornick is the bestselling author of the acclaimed memoir Fierce Attachments, a biography of Emma Goldman, and three essay collections: The Men in My Life, Approaching Eye Level, and The End of the Novel of Love, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in New York, and has been a Visiting Writer this semester at the Nonfiction Writing Program.


    May 7, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop poets Cassidy McFadzean, Chad Campbell and C. Dylan Bassett will read from their work.

    Cassidy McFadzean will read from her new book of poetry, Hacker Packer. McFadzean is the author of a chapbook, Farwell, with JackPine Press and in 2013 she was a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize and the Walrus Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in The Malahat Review, Grain, Arc, Vallum, and The Fiddlehead. She was born in Regina, Canada and studied at the University of Regina and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

    C Dylan Bassett will read from The Unpainted Shore from Spark Wheel, and The Invention of Monsters / Plays for the Theater, from Plays Inverse. He is the author of six chapbooks, and his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Columbia Poetry Review, DIAGRAM, Gulf Coast, H_NGM_N, Ninth Letter, Pleiades, Salt Hill, and West Branch. He is a teaching fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

    Chad Campbell will read from Laws & Locks, his new book from Vehicule Press. Campbell’s poetry has appeared in Arc and Maisonneuve, among other magazines. He was a finalist for the 2013 Malahat Long Poem Prize. Originally from Toronto, he is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives and teaches in Iowa.