• MELISSA ISAACSON in conversation with LISA BLUDER

    September 21, 2019 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights Books

    University of Iowa alum Melissa Isaacson will talk with UI Women’s Basketball coach Lisa Bluder about Isaacson’s book, State: A Team, A Triumph, a Transformation. Isaacson was born in Chicago and was a member of the 1979 girls state championship basketball team for Skokie's Niles West High School. “In State, Melissa Isaacson perfectly captures the birth of Title IX and a time when high school girls were starting to gain equality in sports and in the classroom, showing us how opportunities on the court can light a path for girls to become their authentic selves in all aspects of their lives.” - Billie Jean King

    Isaacson graduated from the University of Iowa in 1983 with a BA in Journalism. During her award-winning career as a sportswriter, Isaacson has covered every major US sports championship, as well as the Olympics. She has written for numerous publications, including long tenures at such institutions as ESPN and the Chicago Tribune, and was the Tribune's first woman columnist and beat writer on the Bulls and Bears. She is currently on the faculty of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and lives in the Chicago area.


    September 19, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Books

    The Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program presents alum T Fleischmann, who will read from Time is the Thing A Body Moves Through. "Chicago-based writer T Fleischmann melds personal narrative and art criticism in a poetically titled, genre-defying work. Mining the interactive art of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, this book-length essay explores power, desire, gender fluidity and subverting limitations." --Chicago Tribune

    T Fleischmann is the author of Syzygy, Beauty, and the curator of Body Forms: Queerness and the Essay. A nonfiction editor at DIAGRAM and contributing editor at the blog Essay Daily, they have published critical and creative work in journals such as the Los Angeles Review of Books, Fourth Genre, Gulf Coast, and others, as well in the anthologies Bending Genre, How We Speak to One Another, Little Boxes, and Feminisms in Motion.



    September 18, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Iowa City Public Library

    There are so few books that I go back to again and again, and fewer still that were written in the last 20 years. But I can never get enough of Jesus' Son. It's a small volume of 11 short stories. And it is brutally honest and painfully beautiful. It's set in a down-and-out world of drugs and drink. But wait — don't turn that dial — Mr. Johnson succeeds at this where so many others fail. He doesn't ever romanticize these dark settings while leaving his narrator open to the fact that, despite it all, we may live in a heartbreakingly romantic world.

    "I was living in Iowa City at the time, and this book, for my friends and me, became sort of a young writers' bible. This is the kind of thing that could be done. With dialogue that feels like you're getting it verbatim and stripped-down prose, he writes simple, honest stories that have the bigness of great work. The plots go like this: A man shaves his roommate in the hospital, the shave-ee having survived being shot three times by two different wives; there's one about a hospital orderly mopping a floor that's already clean, and another with a guy out on bail drinking at The Vine (a bar I could see from my apartment window, which once again, is me romanticizing)." —Nathan Englander

    Read Jesus' Son quickly then slowly. Come to the Public Library, September 18 at 7 PM. You'll never forget these stories, that are really an oddly put together novel, for a long time. You'll remember "Car Crash while Hitchhiking", and the madness of Mercy Hospital ER, the losers who are trapped in the madness of drugged sorrow, and Iowa in the 1990s.  


    September 18, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Books

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Lila Savage will read from her new novel, Say Say Say.

    "An emotional masterpiece . . . Bryn, a retired carpenter, hires Ella, an artist in her late 20s, to take care of his wife. In their house, Ella witnesses a level of love and passion she's been bereft of in her day-to-day life. Say Say Say is a heartbreaking book [told in] bracingly honest, unflinching prose . . . it meditates on empathy and finding human connection even in the worst of circumstances." --Liz Moody

    Lila Savage is originally from Minneapolis. Prior to writing fiction, she spent nearly a decade working as a caregiver. Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review. She is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner fellowship and now lives in San Francisco.


    September 17, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Books

    University of Iowa Law Faculty Sarah Seo will talk about her new book, Policing the Open Road.

    “A brilliant and groundbreaking book that will fundamentally reshape the way we think about the police, criminal procedure, and American freedom. Seo takes us from the Model T to the twenty-first century to show how policing cars, unexpectedly, made possible both the democratization of law enforcement and the systematic racialized policing of minorities.”--Bernard E. Harcourt

    Sarah A. Seo is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Iowa, where she teaches criminal procedure and legal history. She clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

  • CLAIRE LOMBARDO in conversation with ETHAN CANIN

    September 16, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Books

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Claire Lombardo will read from The Most Fun We Ever Had, a multi-generational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple match wits, harbor grudges, and recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they've built. "Everything about this brilliant debut cuts deep: the humor, the wisdom, the pathos. Claire Lombardo writes like she's been doing it for a hundred years, and like she's been alive for a thousand." —Rebecca Makkai 

    Claire Lombardo was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. A former social worker, she now teaches fiction writing and is at work on a second novel. She lives in Philadelphia.  She will be joined in conversation by author and Writers' Workshop faculty member Ethan Canin.

  • IWP

    September 15, 2019 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights Books

    Mac Shiori Gill is a graduate student at the University of Iowa pursuing an MFA in Literary Translation, an MA in Library & Information Science, and a graduate certificate in Public Digital Humanities. Her primary research focuses on The Tale of Genji and the role location and travel played within the text. She has also translated works by IWP Fall Residents from Japan.

    Roy Chicky Arad רועי צ'יקי ארד (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, performance; Israel) is an activist, musician/performer and writer, with eight published volumes of poetry and prose. He edits the poetry magazine Ma'ayan, translates, largely poetry, and writes for the daily Ha’aretz. The Culture Guerilla group, which he co-founded, takes poetry into Israeli streets. He participates courtesy of Fulbright - United States-Israel Educational Foundation פולברייט ישראל

    Róbert GÁL (poetry, fiction; Czech Republic), a literary editor and publisher, works at intersections of genres and media. His six volumes of philosophical prose have been translated from his native Slovak into English and Czech; he has collaborated with composers, dancers, filmmakers, and visual artists in performance and installation work in Europe and the U.S. His participation was made possible by the Exchange Programs - U.S. Department of State.


    September 13, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Books

    Internationally acclaimed Korean-to-English literary translator team Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton will read from and talk about their work in this special event sponsored by the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, the MFA in Literary Translation, and the Obermann Center at the University of Iowa.

    They have translated a number of books from the Korean, most recently Mina, by Kim Sagwa, and others, including Sunset: A Ch'ae Manshik Reader, The Human Jungle by Cho Chongnae, and the anthology The Future of Silence: Fiction by Korean Women.  

    Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton are award-winning translators who have been translating Korean novels and short stories since 1985. Bruce Fulton is Associate Professor and the Young-Bin Min Chair in Korean Literature and Literary Translation in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia.


    September 12, 2019 - 6:00pm

    Prairie Lights Books

    The Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program presents T Kira Madden, who will read from Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls.  "Madden brings her sharply funny voice to her new book, which humanely explores her coming of age as a biracial queer teenager in Boca Raton, Florida, and the climate of abuse and addiction that surrounded her." - Entertainment Weekly, "Most Anticipated Books of 2019"

    T Kira Madden is an APIA (Asian Pacific Islander American)  writer, photographer, and amateur magician. She is the founding editor in chief of No Tokens, and facilitates writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. A 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction literature, she has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Tin House, DISQUIET, Summer Literary Seminars, and Yaddo. She lives in New York City and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. The reading will be followed by a reception in the cafe hosted by the Nonfiction Writing Program.


    September 11, 2019 - 7:39pm

    Prairie Lights

    The Iowa City Book Festival presents Donika Kelly and Melissa Febos, who will read from their work. 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize-winner and 2016 National Book Award long-listed poet Donika Kelly will read from Bestiary: Poems. “What a gorgeous book of poems. The love poems, in particular, are striking with unexpected ideas and imagery coalescing into poetry about this thing called love. . . . This one, I savored.”―Roxane Gay

    Donika Kelly’s poems have appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Indiana Review, and West Branch. She is currently a lecturer in the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program at the University of California, Davis. 

    Melissa Febos will read from her work. “Febos brings a relentless curiosity and startling intimacy to the page . . . With her careful observations and introspection, she transcends isolation and captures the boundless nature of human emotion.” - LAMBDA Literary

    Febos is the author of the acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart, and the essay collection, Abandon Me, which was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist, a Publishing Triangle Award finalist, an Indie Next Pick, and was widely named a best book of 2017. Her third book, Girlhood, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury in 2021. She is an associate professor and graduate director at Monmouth University