• Aron Aji

    February 7, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Director of Translation Programs Aron Aji will read from his new translation of The Wounded Age and and Eastern Tales, by Ferit Edgü, published by New York Review of Books. “A stark and ferocious love letter to a forgotten people, in a gorgeous translation that is utterly true to the wounded dreamscapes of the original. To read these pages is to be there, swept by mountain snows and the cruel winds of politics, undone by harsh beauty and the endless tragedy unfolding.” —Maureen Freely
    Ferit Edgü is one of Turkey’s foremost authors whose work has, until now, been nearly unavailable in English.  He has been awarded both the prestigious Sait Faik Literature Prize and the Sedat Simavi Prize for Literature.
    Aron Aji is the President of The American Literary Translators Association. He has translated works by Bilge Karasu, Murathan Mungan, Elif Shafak, and other Turkish writers. His translations of Bilge Karasu: Death in Troy; The Garden of Departed Cats won the 2004 National Translation Award; and A Long Day’s Evening won an NEA Literature Fellowship, and was short-listed for the 2013 PEN Translation Prize. He is Director of Translation Programs at the University of Iowa.



  • Cornelia Mutel Tending Iowa’s Land Anthology Reading

    February 5, 2023 - 2:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Ecologist Cornelia Mutel will talk about her latest book, Tending Iowa’s Land: Pathways to a Sustainable Future. She will be joined by contributors Jerry Schnoor, Charles Stanier, and Francis Thicke. “As a lifelong Iowan, this tapestry of science, history, and personal stories moved me to think about our changing climate and my own actions. While many of our current circumstances seem dire, Connie and the amazing team of contributors gave me hope by shining a bright light on the path forward.”—Joe McGovern, president, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

    Cornelia Mutel is author of environmental books including The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa, Land of the Fragile Giants, and A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland (Iowa, 2016). She is the former senior science writer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa College of Engineering. Mutel lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

  • Tegan Nia Swanson

    February 2, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Tegan Nia Swanson will read from her Nordic eco-noir debut novel, Things We Found When the Water Went Down. “Intriguing and inventive . . . Swanson's novel explores themes of violence against women, small town prejudice, and corporate disregard in fascinating and unexpected ways that fans of stylish, experimental fiction will appreciate.” - Booklist

    Tegan Nia Swanson is an advocate, educator, artist, gardener, and UU-Buddhist, most at home while in or near large bodies of water, or walking under the canopies of many trees.

  • Jon Lauck

    January 29, 2023 - 2:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Iowa historian Jon Lauck will talk about Iowa History and his new book, The Good Country: A History of the American Midwest, 1800-1900. “The Good Country describes a rich civic culture that prized education, literature, libraries, and the arts; developed a stable social order grounded in Victorian norms, republican virtue, and Christian teachings; and generally put democratic ideals into practice to a greater extent than any nation to date.”- University of Oklahoma Press.

    Jon K. Lauck is the past president of the Midwestern History Association, teaches history and political science at the University of South Dakota, and is Editor-in-Chief of Middle West Review. He has authored or edited several books, including The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History; Daschle vs. Thune; Finding a New Midwestern History; and three volumes of The Plains Political Tradition.

  • Stephen Markley in conversation with Kevin Brockmeier

    January 27, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Writers’ Workshop graduate and author of the best-selling novel, Ohio, Stephen Markley will read from his new novel, Deluge. "This is a stunning achievement that may earn a place among dystopian and apocalyptic classics like 1984 and On the Beach. And perhaps most of all, it’s an unflinching and utterly compelling call to action to prevent an all-too-possible future."—Library Journal

    Stephen Markley is the acclaimed author of Ohio, the memoir Publish This Book and the travelogue Tales of Iceland.

  • TO BE RESCHEDULED! Jeanna Kadlec in conversation with Lyz Lenz

    January 26, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO ILLNESS.  Please check back! We hope to reschedule this event soon!!

    Jeanna Kadlec will read from her memoir of growing up evangelical in Iowa, Heretic. She will be joined in conversation by author/journalist Lyz Lenz. “Brilliant and well-read, Kadlec braved the emotional tides of religious trauma, divorce, and coming out as queer all before her thirtieth birthday. … Giving a voice to past and present evangelicals Kadlec invites readers to hold a mirror to the evangelical-political hydra that threatens to overthrow true American freedom.” — Booklist

    Jeanna Kadlec is a writer, astrologer, former lingerie boutique owner, and recovering academic. Her writing has appeared in ELLE, NYLON, O the Oprah Magazine, Allure, Catapult, Literary Hub, Autostraddle, and more. A born and bred Midwesterner, she now lives in Brooklyn.

  • Virtual Event: Douglas Bauer in conversation with Meg Wolitzer

    January 18, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Zoom

    Please join us on Zoom for a reading and conversation with Douglas Bauer and Meg Wolitzer, who will talk about Bauer's new book from University of Iowa Press, The Beckoning World!  Register for the event HERE.

    "It’s been said that beyond being a story-teller, the novelist is also by default a sociologist, a historian, and a psychologist. And if he is any good, he is a magician, too. Douglas Bauer is all these things in this expansive, insightful portrayal of the life and times of Earl Dunham, a coal-miner turned baseball pitcher turned farmer" —Richard Bausch

    Bauer is the author of six books including the novels The Very Air, and Dexterity, and What Happens Next?: Matters of Life and Death, which won the PEN/New England Award in Non-Fiction. He is also the editor of two anthologies, and his work has been published widely in publications including Esquire, Harper’s, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and The Los Angeles Book Review. He is a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars MFA program in writing and literature.

    Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Female Persuasion, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. She is also the author of the young adult novel Belzhar. Wolitzer lives in New York City.



  • Aprille Clarke

    December 15, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights - In Store

    Local author Aprille Clarke will read from her debut novel about time travel, romance, family, and friendships: The Case of Elena and All That Went WrongA time-stopping office worker, a woman receiving a full body transplant, a visitor from the nineteenth century, and dead people preserved in ice trays all inhabit the weird, fantastic, and sometimes disturbing world of The Case of Elena and All That Went Wrong!
    Aprille Clarke's original fiction has appeared in Confrontation magazine and post-secondary textbooks for Heinle & Heinle/Thomson Learning. She has also written and produced many works of theater, music, and multimedia. Clarke holds a BA in Spanish from the University of Iowa and an MFA in Comparative Literature-Translation from the University of Iowa's Translation Workshop. She has worked as a translator, interpreter, teacher, instructional technology consultant, simulated patient, and volunteers with community organizations. She enjoys planning real and imaginary vacations; making music with the Family Folk Machine; documenting her family’s adventures through photos, text, and video; and finding humor in life’s daily humiliations. She lives in Iowa City with her spouse and children.


  • Michelle Edwards

    December 11, 2022 - 2:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Michelle Edwards in celebration of the release of her book Me and the Boss: A Story About Mending and Love (Anne Schwartz Books, 2022). All the highs and lows of having a bossy, protective, and loving older sibling are depicted in this heartwarming picture book by a critically acclaimed author and award-winning illustrator.  Meet Lee, a little boy who won't give up until he learns how to sew, and Zora, the sister who watches him try--and ultimately succeed!
    Michelle Edwards holds an M.F.A. in Printmaking from the University of Iowa where she first explored stories and pictures in hand-bound editions of letterpress books. She is the author and illustrator of many award-winning books for children including A Hat for Mrs. Goldman, illustrated by G. Brian Karas. She is also the creator of an adult title, A Knitter's Home Companion. She chronicles her maker’s life on Most days you can find Michelle in her Iowa City studio, working with her pens, brushes, piles of paper, and notebooks filled with story ideas.

  • Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program presents Writers Gone Public

    December 8, 2022 - 6:00pm

    Prairie Lights - In Store

    Join us with the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program to celebrate the work of undergraduate students who have studied with MFA Nonfiction faculty!  The undergraduate writers will read excerpts from essays they have written this semester.