• Hieu Minh Nguyen and Angel Nafis: Writers @ Grinnell

    September 17, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Join poets (and pals) Hieu Minh Nguyen and Angel Nafis, during their week working with Writers @ Grinnell, for a reading and conversation about the craft of poetry, literary friendships, queerness, the art of mentorship, and working and surviving in a time of social upheaval.

    For the link to access the event, register here.

    Hieu Minh Nguyen is the author of This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) and Not Here (Coffee House Press, 2018). Winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, both of his collections of poetry were also finalists for a Minnesota Book Award and a Lambda Literary Award. In 2019 Hieu was awarded the Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. He is also 2018 Ruth Lily and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow, 2018 McKnight Writing Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow, a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, the recipient of the Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant, and an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. He is a poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine. He lives in Oakland and is a graduate from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

    Angel Nafis is the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012). She earned her BA at Hunter College and is an MFA candidate in poetry at Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The BreakBeat Poets Anthology, The Rumpus, Poetry Magazine, Buzzfeed Reader and elsewhere. Nafis is a Cave Canem fellow, the recipient of a Millay Colony residency, an Urban Word NYC mentor, and the founder and curator of the Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon. In 2011 she represented NYC at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam. She is half of the ODES FOR YOU TOUR with poet, musician and visual artist Shira Erlichman and with poet Morgan Parker, she runs The Other Black Girl Collective, an internationally touring Black Feminist poetry duo. Facilitating writing workshops and reading poems globally, she lives in Brooklyn. In 2016, Nafis was a recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and in 2017 she was awarded a Creative Writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.


  • Chuck Palahniuk in conversation with Tim Johnston

    September 10, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Join psychological suspense masters Chuck Palahniuk and Tim Johnston as they talk about Chuck's new book, The Invention of Sound.

    This is a ticketed event - to purchase a hardcover copy of Chuck Palahniuk's The Invention of Sound + General Admission to the reading, click here.

    Chuck Palahniuk's new book treads territory familiar to literary thrill-master Tim Johnston, when a father searching for his missing daughter is suddenly given hope with the discovery of a major clue. Then Palahniuk's signature style unfolds and he takes on Hollywood, contemporary culture, human nature, and as Time Magazine says "His books are not so much novels as jagged fables, cautionary tales about the creeping peril represented by almost everything."

    Chuck Palahniuk lives in Portland, Oregon, and is the author of numerous books including most recently Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life after Which Everything Was Different, Adjustment Day, Lullaby, Choke, Snuff, and Fight Club.

    Tim Johnston lives in Iowa City, Iowa, and is the author of the bestselling books Descent and The Current.

  • Gabrielle Calvocoressi: Writers @ Grinnell

    September 8, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Join award-winning poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi for a reading from their work, followed by a discussion with Writers @ Grinnell Director Dean Bakopoulos about the ways we can re-imagine creative writing and the teaching of creative writing during this tumultuously challenging year. 

    For the link to access the event, register here.

    Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, Apocalyptic Swing (a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize), and Rocket Fantastic, winner of the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. Calvocoressi is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University; a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer's Award; a Lannan Foundation residency in  Marfa, TX; the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review; and a residency from the Civitella di Ranieri Foundation, among others. Calvocoressi's poems have been published or are forthcoming in numerous magazines and journals including The Baffler, The New York Times, POETRY, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Tin House, and The New Yorker. Calvocoressi is an Editor at Large at Los Angeles Review of Books, and Poetry Editor at Southern Cultures. Works in progress include a non-fiction book entitled, The Year I Didn't Kill Myself and a novel, The Alderman of the Graveyard. Calvocoressi teaches at UNC Chapel Hill and lives in Carrboro, NC, where joy, compassion, and social justice are at the center of their personal and poetic practice.

  • Margot Livesey in conversation with Lan Samantha Chang

    September 3, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a virtual reading with Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the Fieldand conversation with Lan Samantha Chang, author of All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost.

    For the link to access the event, register here.

    Publisher's Weekly calls The Boy in the Field, "A distinctive blend of literary fiction and psychological thriller.... Precise prose, cool observation, and tight pacing will keep readers turning the pages. This is a memorable twist on the coming-of-age tale.” The New York Times Book Review says of the book, “In the broadest sense, Margot Livesey’s exquisite novel The Boy in the Field is a whodunit.… But the real mysteries lie elsewhere, specifically and most compellingly with the characters who are witnesses to the crime…. Livesey’s writing is quiet, observant and beautifully efficient — there’s not an extra word or scene in the entire book — and yet simultaneously so cinematic, you can hear the orchestral soundtrack as you tear through the pages.” 

    Margot Livesey is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Mercury, The Flight of Gemma HardyThe House on Fortune StreetBanishing VeronaEva Moves the FurnitureThe Missing WorldCriminals, and Homework. Her work has appeared in the New YorkerVogue, and the Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Born in Scotland, Livesey currently lives in the Boston area and is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

    She will be joined in conversation by Lan Samantha Chang, whose fiction has appeared in Atlantic MonthlyStory and The Best American Short Stories 1994 and 1996. Chang is the author of the award-winning books Hunger and Inheritance, and the novel All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost. She is the recipient of the Wallace Stegner and Truman Capote fellowships at Stanford University. She also received, from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a Teaching-Writing fellowship and a Michener-Copernicus fellowship. Her many awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she directs the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

    To order the book for curbside pickup, free local delivery, or media mail shipping, find it in our online shop or give us a call at 319-337-2681.

  • Willa Goodfellow in conversation with Dr. Jess G. Fiedorowicz

    September 2, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a virtual reading with Willa Goodfellow, author of Prozac Monologues: A Voice From the Edgeand conversation with Dr. Jess G. Fiedorowicz, Director of the Mood Disorders Center at the Unversity of Iowa.

    For the link to access the event, register here.

    Prozac Monologues is a book within a book—part memoir of misdiagnosis and part self-help guide about life on the bipolar spectrum. Through edgy and comedic essays, Goodfellow offers information about a mood disorder frequently mistaken for major depression as well as resources for recovery and further study. Chris Aiken, MD, editor-in-chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report, calls the book: “A wake-up call to the medical profession and a ray of hope for people with mood disorders. If antidepressants haven’t lived up to their name, or have even made you feel worse, this book is for you. You’ll gain a textbook’s worth of knowledge about depression and bipolar disorder without ever feeling like you read a textbook.”

    Willa Goodfellow has worked with troubled teens as an Episcopal priest, which has shaped an edgy perspective and preaching style. Her master's degree from Yale gave her the intellectual chops to read and comprehend scientific research about mental illness—and her life mileage taught her to recognize and call out the bull. Her journalism has attracted the attention of leading psychiatrists who worked on the DSM-5. She is certified in Mental Health First Aid, graduated from NAMI’s Peer to Peer, and has presented on mental health recovery at NAMI events and Carver Medical College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. This is her first book. 

    She will be joined in conversation by Dr. Jess G. Fiedorowicz, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Epidemiology, and Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa. He graduated from Marquette University with Honors in Research from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed a psychiatry residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he additionally served as a chief resident. He also has a Ph.D. in Translational Biomedicine and a graduate certificate in biostatistics from the University of Iowa. He serves Director of the Mood Disorders Center at the University of Iowa and Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s Journal of Psychosomatic Research. His research focuses on the primary causes of excess mortality, suicide and vascular disease, in bipolar and other mood disorders.

    To order the book for curbside pickup, free local delivery, or media mail shipping, find it in our online shop or give us a call at 319-337-2681.

  • Lyz Lenz in conversation with Matthew Salesses

    August 27, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a virtual reading with Lyz Lenz, author of Belaboredand conversation with Matthew Salesses, author of Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear.

    For the link to access the event, register here.

    Lyz Lenz's new book, Belabored: A Vindication of the Rights of Pregnant Women was called, "A thoughtful, impassioned look at mothers and mothering." by Kirkus Reviews. Time Magazine says of the book, "With wit and deadly seriousness, Lenz draws attention to the rising rate of maternal mortality in the U.S. and calls for an update to the way people view pregnancy in America." 

    Lenz is the author of God Land and a columnist for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and contributing writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. Her work has also appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostHuffington Post, and Pacific Standard, among other publications. She lives in Iowa. 

    She will be joined in conversation by Matthew Salesses, author of The Hundred-Year Flood, which was an Amazon bestseller and Best Book of September; an Adoptive Families best book of 2015; a Millions Most Anticipated of 2015; and a best book of the season at BuzzFeed, Refinery29, and Gawker, among others. He is also the author of I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying and the nonfiction work Different Racisms: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity. Adopted from Korea at age two, Matthew was named by BuzzFeed in 2015 as one of “32 Essential Asian American Writers.”

    To order the book for curbside pickup, free local delivery, or media mail shipping, find it in our online shop or give us a call at 319-337-2681.

  • Anna Bruno in conversation with Elizabeth Wetmore

    August 18, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a virtual reading with Anna Bruno, author of Ordinary Hazardsand conversation with Elizabeth Wetmore, author of Valentine.

    For the link to access the event, register here.

    Ordinary Hazards was named a Best Debut Novel of 2020 by Library Journal. NYT Bestselling author Claire Lombardo says of the novel: “Seen through keen eyes and full of deep feeling, Ordinary Hazards delves into the psyche of a woman grappling with grief, loss, and the burdens of inheritance. Anna Bruno vividly renders the messiness of a single human life in all its joy and heartbreak.”

    Anna Bruno is a writer and teacher at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. Previously, Anna managed public relations and marketing for technology and financial services companies in Silicon Valley. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, an MBA from Cornell University, and a BA from Stanford University. She lives in Iowa City with her husband, two sons, and blue heeler. Ordinary Hazards is her first novel.

    She will be joined in conversation by Elizabeth Wetmore, who is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Epoch, Kenyon Review, Colorado Review, Baltimore Review, Crab Orchard Review, Iowa Review, and other literary journals. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, as well as a grant from the Barbara Deming Foundation. She was also a Rona Jaffe Scholar in Fiction at Bread Loaf and a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and one of six Writers in Residence at Hedgebrook. A native of West Texas, she lives and works in Chicago.

    To order the books for curbside pickup, free local delivery, or media mail shipping, find it in our online shop or give us a call at 319-337-2681.

  • Night Sky Reading - Poems by Joanna Klink

    August 12, 2020 - 7:30pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a special reading and celebratory toast to honor the release of Joanna Klink's new book of poetry, The Nightfields.

    For the link to access the event, register here

    To celebrate the release of The Nightfields, 31 poets and writers will read from "Night Sky," the sequence of short poems that ends the book. Please bring a celebratory beverage, to join in a virtual toast after the reading! 

    The New York Journal of Books says of The Nightfields: “Klink is a vatic poet, a seer not just of the body but of bodies in relationship to one another, bodies in relation to the natural world, to the universe both inner and outer . . . Perhaps more than any other poet writing today, Joanna Klink is the Romantic poet of our age, and like the great romantic poets, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, the narrator of The Nightfields is often walking through her poems, attuned to the silences and quiet murmurings of the world.”

    Joanna Klink is the author of five books of poetry. She has received awards and fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, Jeannette Haien Ballard, Civitella Ranieri, the Bogliasco Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Trust of Amy Lowell, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She is teaching at the Michener Center in Austin.  

    To order the book for curbside pickup, free local delivery, or media mail shipping, find it in our online shop or give us a call at 319-337-2681.



    Leni Zumas is the author of three books of fiction: Red Clocks, The Listeners, and Farewell Navigator: Stories. She lives in Oregon and teaches in the MFA program at Portland State University.

    Mary Szybist is the author of Incarnadine, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for poetry.  She teaches at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

    Rob Schlegel is the author of The Lesser FieldsJanuary Machine, and In the Tree Where the Double Sex Sleeps, winner of the 2018 Iowa Poetry Prize. Most recently he has taught at Whitman College and in the MFA Program at Portland State University. With the poets Rawaan Alkhatib and Daniel Poppick, he co-edits The Catenary Press.

    Spencer Reece is the author of The Clerk's Tale (2003)winner of the Bakeless Prize and the Larry Levis Prize and finalist for the LA Times Book Award, and The Road to Emmaus (2014), long-list nominee for the National Book Award and the Griffin Prize. In 2017 he edited a bilingual anthology of poems, Counting Time Like People Count Stars,  by the abandoned girls of Our Little Roses in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. In 2021, two books will be forthcoming: The Secret Gospel of Mark: A Poet's Memoir and All The Beauty Still Left: A Poet's Painted Book of Hours - one book a memoir of how poetry saved his life and led him to the priesthood, the other a collection of his watercolours with commonplace quotes from his reading  that accompany each painting. He has been an Episcopal priest in Honduras followed by 7 years in Madrid, Spain, working for the bishop there. He has returned now to the United States and hopes to share news of a new post as a rector of a parish soon. 2024, will see the publication of his third collection of poems by Farrar, Straus, Giroux, entitled: Acts

    Dana Prescott, Executive Director of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, is a writer, painter, and educator who has lived and worked in Italy for most of the past 30 years. She taught at Temple University, Cornell University, and University of Washington in Rome, amongst others. She was Director of Rhode Island School of Design in Rome and served as Arts Director at the American Academy in Rome. Her work was included in the anthology  Apple, Tree  in 2019 and her poems have been published in the  Bennington Review, The Journal for Poetic Research, and others. She is the editor of the anthology, Feathers from the Angel’s Wing, poems about the paintings of Piero della Francesca.  

    D. A. Powell's most recent collection is Atlas T (Rescue Press, 2020). He received the 2019 John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has taught at University of Iowa, Columbia University, Harvard, Stanford and Davidson College, as well as University of San Francisco where he is a Professor of Writing.

    Cecily Parks is the author of the poetry collections Field Folly Snow (2008) and O'Nights (2015), and editor of The Echoing Green: Poems of Fields, Meadows, and Grasses (2016). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The New YorkerThe New RepublicBest American Poetry 2020, and elsewhere. She teaches at Texas State University.

    Sameer Pandya is the author of the novel Members Only and the story collection The Blind Writer, which was long listed for the PEN/Open Book Award. He is also the recipient of the PEN/Civitella Fellowship. His fiction, commentary, and cultural criticism has appeared in a range of publications, including the AtlanticSalonSports IllustratedESPN, and Narrative Magazine. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Shelly Oria is the author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (FSG 2014) and the editor of Indelible in the Hippocampus, Writings from the MeToo Movement (McSweeney's 2019). In 2017 CLEAN, a digital novella Oria was commissioned to coauthor, received two Lovie Awards from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Oria's fiction has appeared in The Paris Review and read on Selected Shorts at Symphony Space; has been translated to other languages; and has won a number of awards. Oria lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she has a private practice as a life and creativity coach. Her website is

    Lisa Olstein is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Late Empire (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), and a book-length lyric essay, PAIN STUDIES (Bellevue Literary Press, 2020). A member of the poetry faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, Hayden Carruth Award, Lannan Writing Residency, and Guggenheim Fellowship. 

    Malena Mörling is the author of two books of poetry: Ocean Avenue and Astoria. She has published translations of Swedish poet, Tomas Tranströmer and, with Jonas Ellerström, a collection of the Finland-Swedish poet Edith Södergran, On Foot I Wandered Through the Solar Systems, the collection 1933 by Philip Levine into Swedish, and they have edited and translated the anthology, The Star By My Head, Poets From Sweden published by Milkweed Editions. Mörling is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a Dianna L. Bennett Fellowship from the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute. She teaches Creative Writing at UNC, Wilmington.

    Honor Moore is the author of Our Revolution and The Bishop’s Daughter, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and The White Blackbird, and was also named a New York Times Notable Book. She is also the author of three collections of poems; her first collection Memoir, was released this spring as a Carnegie Mellon classic collection. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar, among other journals. She lives and writes in New York City, where she is on the graduate writing faculty of The New School.

    Joe Milazzo is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie, two volumes of poetry — The Habiliments and Of All Places In This Place Of All Places — and several chapbooks (most recently, @p_roblem_s). He is an Associate Editor for Southwest Review and the proprietor of Imipolex Press. Joe lives and works in Dallas, Texas, and his virtual location is

    Nathan McClain is the author of Scale (Four Way Books, 2017), a recipient of fellowships from Sewanee Writers' Conference, The Frost Place, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson. His poetry and prose have recently appeared in Poetry Northwest, Green Mountains Review, Zocalo Public Square, The Common, On the Seawall, and The Critical Flame. His next poetry collection with Four Way Books will be published in Fall 2022. He teaches at Hampshire College.

    Lynn Melnick is the author of the poetry collections Refusenik (forthcoming 2022), Landscape with Sex and Violence (2017), and If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012), all with YesYes Books, and the co-editor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015). I've Had to Think Up a Way to Survive, a book about Dolly Parton that is also a bit of a memoir, is forthcoming from University of Texas Press in 2022.

    Youna Kwak is a poet, translator, and teacher. She lives in the Inland Empire.

    Anna Maria Hong is the author of Age of Glass, winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s First Book Poetry Competition and the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, and the novella H & G (Sidebrow Books), winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Clarissa Dalloway Prize. Her poetry collection Fablesque won Tupelo Press’s Berkshire Prize and is forthcoming in September 2020. A former Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, she has published poetry and fiction in many journals and anthologies including The Nation, The Iowa Review, Ecotone, Green Mountains Review, Pleiades, Poetry Daily, and The Best American Poetry.

    Brenda Hillman is the author of ten collections of poetry from Wesleyan University Press, including Extra Hidden Life, Among the Days (2018) which won the Northern California Book Award. She has edited and co-translated numerous books, most recently At Your Feet by Ana Cristina Cesar— co-translated with Helen Hillman. Sobre un dia, en el mundo a collection of Hillman’s work in Spanish, has been translated by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg. She currently serves as a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets, co-directs the Poetry Program of the Community of Writers and teaches at Saint Mary’s College of California.

    Nicholas Gulig is a Thai-American poet from Wisconsin. The author of North of OrderBook of Lake, and Orient, he currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

    Sarah Gridley is the author of four books of poetry: Weather Eye Open (University of California Press, 2005); Green is the Orator (University of California Press, 2010); Loom (Omnidawn Publishing, 2013); and Insofar (New Issues Press, 2020). She is beginning a Masters Degree in Religious and Theological Studies at John Carroll University. 

    Michele Glazer lives in Portland, Oregon, and teaches at Portland State University.

    Annelyse Gelman's work has appeared in BOMB Magazine, the PEN Poetry Series, The New Yorker, and elsewhere, and she is the author of the poetry collection Everyone I Love Is a Stranger to Someone (2014, Write Bloody) and the EP About Repulsion (2019, Fonograf Editions). She also directs Midst, an app and digital publishing platform for archiving, sharing, and exploring the writing process. Gelman has been the recipient of fellowships from the Deutsch-Amerikanische Fulbright-Kommission, New Zealand Pacific Studio, Fondation Jan Michalski, and the Michener Center for Writers. Find her at

    Forrest Gander, born in the Mojave Desert, lives in California. A translator and writer with degrees in geology and literature, he’s the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the Best Translated Book Award, and fellowships from the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim, and United States Artists Foundations. His new book of poems, Twice Alive, focused on environmental intimacy, is due from New Directions in 2021. 

    Amanda Fortini has written for the New Yorker, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, California Sunday, and the Believer, among other publications. She is the Beverly Rogers Fellow at the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she also taught for four years. Her essays have been widely anthologized, including in Best American Political Writing, and she has been nominated for a James Beard Journalism Award. She divides her time between Las Vegas, Nevada, and Livingston, Montana.

    Shangyang Fang grew up in Chengdu, China, and writes both in English and Chinese. A recent graduate from Michener Center for Writers, he is a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford University. His debut poetry collection is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2021.

    Timothy Donnelly’s most recent book of poems, The Problem of the Many  (Wave Books, 2019), received the inaugural Big Other Book Award for Poetry. His other collections include Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebensezeit  (Grove, 2003) and The Cloud Corporation  (Wave, 2010), winner of the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize. He is Director of Poetry at the Writing Program of Columbia University School of the Arts and lives in Brooklyn with his family.

    John D'Agata is the author of six books, including About a Mountain and the 3-volume anthology series A New History of the Essay.

    John Beer is the author of Lucinda (Canarium, 2016) and The Waste Land and Other Poems (Canarium, 2010), and editor of Poems (1962-1997) by Robert Lax (Wave, 2013). He lives in Portland, Oregon and teaches at Portland State University.

    David Baker is author of twelve books of poetry, recently Swift: New and Selected Poems, (Norton, 2019), Scavenger Loop (2015), and Never-Ending Birds (2009), which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. His six books of prose include Show Me Your Environment (Michigan, 2014) and Radiant Lyre (Graywolf, 2007). Among his awards are prizes and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, and Society of Midland Authors. Baker holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair at Denison University and is Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review.

    Stephanie Adams-Santos is a Guatemalan-American poet and screenwriter from Oregon. Her work is rooted in the crossroads of ritual, ancestry, and environment — with a penchant for the queer and uncanny. Her full-length poetry collection, Swarm Queen's Crown (Fathom Books) was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards. Her chapbook The Sundering (Poetry Society of America) was recipient of a New York Chapbook Fellowship. Stephanie’s television credits include Two Sentence Horror Stories (CW/Netflix). Her short script "La Gloria", a queer intergeneratonal story about unrequited love, is currently screening at festivals internationally.

  • Iowa City Soul Fest Virtual Author's Panel

    August 1, 2020 - 11:00am

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join Professor Arnold Daniels Jr. for a special author's panel as a part of this year's virtual Iowa City Soul Fest.

    For access to this Zoom event, register here.

    Professor Arnold Daniels Jr. will be in conversation with authors Kim Fitten, Dr. Phillip Jones, and Andre Perry.

    Kim Fitten is a published author, blogger, entrepreneur, and administrator at Liberty High School. She holds a BA in secondary education from Iowa Wesleyan College, a Masters in administration and evaluation from The University of Northern Iowa, and she is in her final stages of earning a PhD. She is the founder and lead educator of LOGIC Kingdom Education; this organization exists to equip, encourage, and educate women of diverse backgrounds to live an illimitable life through spiritual growth, fellowship, and love. Empowered by biblical study, Fitten works to lift women up, remind them they have purpose, and show them how to unlock doors of opportunity. She does this work through her morning-weekday broadcast called “Morning Mindset,” her “Manifesting 101” podcast, her blog, and her two published books. Her books teach readers how to find their purpose and visualize success. The Science of Greatness: Taking the Guesswork Out of Purpose is an interactive self-discovery tool that challenges traditional thinking that concerns greatness and purpose, and DECREE: The Journal is a reader’s vehicle to learning how to practice visualization and self-empowerment.

    Dr. Phillip Jones received a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1963, a Master of Arts in physical education in 1967, and a PhD in student development and higher education in 1975 from the University of Iowa. When Dr. Jones started his work for The University of Iowa in 1968, he was the minority student recruiter for the Office of Admissions. By the time he finished his career in 2008, he was The University of Iowa’s vice president for student services and dean of students. Throughout his career, Dr. Jones strived to increase higher education opportunities for minority students; he was the founding director of The Iowa Institute for EOP (educational opportunity programs), a national training institute which was established to expand educational opportunities for minority and disadvantaged students. The Iowa Institute for EOP became the prototype for the U.S. Department of Education program for support services personnel. On this mission to create more higher learning opportunities, Dr. Jones went on to work as a field reader consultant for federal programs so colleges and universities have a platform to evaluate their programs and grow higher education opportunities. In 1992 Phillip E. Jones received the Isabell Turner Human Rights Award from  the Iowa City Human Rights Commission. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Commission on Human Resources and Social Change in the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) in 2004. He received recognition in 2005 from NASULGC and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) for Significant Leadership and Contributions in their Joint Task Force on Diversity. He was recognized by the University of Iowa College of Law for his vital role in founding the Pre-law Conference in 1978.

    Andre Perry currently serves as the Executive Director of The Englert Theatre; he is an essayist and arts advocate. Being so passionate about arts education, Perry strives to help Iowa City become the greatest small city for the arts in America. He co-founded Iowa City’s Mission Creek Festival, a celebration of music and literature, and he also produces the Witching Hour Festival, a multidisciplinary festival expressing the creative process. In response to COVID-19 and being forced to cancel the Mission Creek Festival, Perry created Mission Creek Underground: an online portal to a performance series showcasing local musicians and actors. Perry is gifted with creativity and he works hard to bring arts programming to our community, even during these unpredictable times. His book, Some Of Us Are Very Hungry Now, was published by Two Dollar Radio in 2019. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and his work has been featured in The Believer, Catapult, Granta and other journals.

    Arnold Daniels, Jr is a former U.S. State Department Liaison. He is an Anthropologist, entrepreneur, educator and volunteer with the African American Museum of Iowa. Mr. Daniels has taught Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Cultural Geography, English, History, and Sociology at several East Coast colleges and universities. A longtime resident of Washington, D.C., he now makes his home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

  • Saeed Jones in conversation with Hanif Abdurraqib

    July 31, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a virtual reading with Saeed Jones, author of How We Fight for Our Lives and conversation with Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Fortune for Your Disaster.

    For the link to access the event, register here.

    How We Fight for Our Lives was named A New York Times Book Review Notable book of 2019, An NPR Favorite Book of 2019, an O Magazine Best LGBTQ Book of 2019, and a Publishers Weekly Best Non-Fiction Book of 2019, among others. The New Yorker calls it "Urgent, immediate, matter of fact….The prose in Saeed Jones’s memoir How We Fight for Our Lives shines with a poet’s desire to give intellections the force of sense impressions.”

    Saeed Jones is the author of Prelude to Bruise, winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award. The poetry collection was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as awards from Lambda Literary and the Publishing Triangle in 2015. Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Lewisville, Texas. He earned a BA at Western Kentucky University and an MFA at Rutgers University-Newark. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

    He will be joined in conversation by Hanif Abdurraqib, author of the poetry collections A Fortune for Your Disaster (2019) and They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us (2017), and the book of cultural criticism Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (2019), which was named as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

    To order the book for curbside pickup, free local delivery, or media mail shipping, find it in our online shop or give us a call at 319-337-2681.