September 18, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Inman’s War and Shell Games author Jeffrey Copeland will read from Plague in Paradise: The Black Death in Los Angeles, 1924.  "This narrative non-fiction tells the story of how the medical community and civic leaders in Los Angeles worked to stop the highly-contagious Black Plague in 1924. It highlights the work of the doctor, nurse, and priest at the center of the outbreak and how politics, racism, and greed delayed its resolution" —Paragon

    Jeffrey Copeland is a professor and head of the Department of Languages and Literature at the University of Northern Iowa, where he teaches children's and young adult literature courses and English education. A native St. Louisan, he lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.


    September 16, 2018 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Join us for the Sunday International Writing Program Prairie Lights Reading Series to hear writers from all over the world read from their work. This week's reading will feature Alisa Ganieva of Russia, Rasha Khayat of Germany, and Keenan Walsh.

    Alisa Ganieva (fiction writer, editor, critic, journalist; Russia) is the author of three books, including anovel which appeared in English as Bride and Groom, shortlisted for the Russian Booker, and The Mountain and the Wall [English version], shortlisted for the Yasnaya Polyana literary prize. Her story collection [Salaam, Dalgat!] won the 2009 Debut Prize, to controversy and acclaim - written under a male pseudonym, her authorship was famously revealed when she stood to accept an award. In 2017, Ganieva was a juror for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. A 2012 IWP Resident, she returns to the IWP Fall Residency courtesy of Grinnell College.

    Rasha Khayat (fiction writer, translator; Germany) is the author of the novel Weil wir längst woanders sind [For We Are Elsewhere Now] which has been nominated for the 2016 Klaus Michael Kühne Prize for best first novel, and translated into French and Arabic. Her blog, WestEast Diva, serves as a window into the Arab world for native Germans. A recipient of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation Fellowship, the Robert Bosch Foundation’s Research Fellowship, and the Siegfried-Lenz Fellowship, she also writes for the theater and newspapers, mainly on multiculturalism. She participates in the IWP Fall Residency courtesy of the Max Kade Foundation.

    Keenan Walsh is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His fiction has appeared in The Salon, Brazenhead Review, Deep South Magazine, and elsewhere. Originally from Florida, he now lives and teaches in Iowa City.

  • JAMEL BRINKLEY in conversation with Charles D’Ambrosio

    September 14, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Jamel Brinkley will read from his recent story collection A Lucky Man, and be joined in conversation by Charles D’Ambrosio. In the nine stories of A Lucky Man, fathers and sons attempt to salvage relationships with friends and family members and confront mistakes made in the past. Brinkley “is intent on recognizing what masculinity looks like, questioning our expectations of it, and criticizing its toxicity―and somehow managing to do all of that with love . . . The collection may include only nine stories, but in each of them, Brinkley gives us an entire world.”―NPR

    Brinkley’s stories have appeared in A Public Space,andGulf Coast. He has been a Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellow, and lives in Madison. 

    Charles D’Ambrosio is the author of The Point and Other Stories, The Dead Fish MuseumOrphans, and Loitering. He teaches fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.


    September 13, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Mikkel Rosengaard and Maxim Loskutoff will read from their recent fiction. Mikkel Rosengaard will read from his novel The Invention of AnaOn a rooftop in Brooklyn one spring night, a young writer meets the intriguing artist and mathematician Ana Ivan, who confesses she is from a cursed Romanian lineage. “Mikkel Rosengaard’s intriguing first novel . . . weaves story upon story to explore . . . the bond between writer and muse.” —NYTBR   Rosengaard grew up in Elsinore, Denmark, and now lives in New York City.

    Maxim Loskutoff will read from his story collection Come West and SeeIn an isolated region of Idaho, Montana, and eastern Oregon known as the Redoubt, an armed occupation of a wildlife refuge is escalating into civil war. Against this backdrop, twelve stories of ordinary lives explore the loneliness, fragility, and heartbreak inherent to love. “Devastating . . . grows increasingly bizarre and haunting until it’s left an indelible mark.”—New York Times

    Loskutoff has been honored with the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Global Writing Fellowship in Abu Dhabi, and the M Literary Fellowship in Bangalore. His stories have appeared in PloughsharesFiction, and the Southern Review. He lives in western Montana, where he was raised. 


    September 11, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Katie Ford will read from her new poetry collection If You Have to GoBeginning in the cramped space of selfhood―in the bedroom, cluttered with doubts, and in the throes of marital loss―these poems edge toward the clarity of “what I can know and admit to knowing.” An extraordinary sequence at the heart of this book taps into the radical power of the sonnet form, bending it into a kind of metaphysical and psychological outcry. “[Ford is] one of the most important American poets at work today.”—Dunya Mikhail

    Ford is the author of Blood Lyrics, named a finalist for the Los Angeles TimesBook Prize; Colosseum, recognized as a “Best Book of the Year” by Publishers Weeklyand the Virginia Quarterly Review; and Deposition. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she currently teaches at the University of California, Riverside.


    September 11, 2018 - 5:30pm

    Prairie Lights

    Biographer Mike Lankford will read from and talk about Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo Da Vinci, which was a Wall Street Journal 2017 Book of the Year. "A creative biography of the great Renaissance artist and inventor, taking the bare factual outline we have of da Vinci's life and and filling it in with 15th-century Italy's society, culture and history; the people and personalities who surrounded da Vinci; and the constancies of human nature."—Oregonian

    Mike Lankford is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and the author of Life in Double Time: Confessions of an American Drummer, a memoir about his years as a white drummer in a black R&B band, selected by eight major newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and the Austin Chronicle, as the best music book of the year.


    September 10, 2018 - 5:30pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduates Abby Geni and Frances de Pontes Peebles will read from their new novels. Abby Geni will read from her novel, The Wildlands. "Geni's fascinat[ed] with the borders between human and animal… [and she] continues to create works of art with perfect voices that are simultaneously thrillers and meditations on nature. It is an incredible trick." —Kirkus Reviews  Abby Geni is the author of The Lightkeepers and The Last Animal. She lives in Chicago. 

    Frances de Pontes Peebles will read from her new novel The Air You Breathe. Born to wildly different worlds, Dores and Graça quickly bond over music. Traveling from Brazil's inland sugar plantations to the rowdy streets of Rio de Janeiro's famous Lapa neighborhood, and to Los Angeles during the Golden Age of Hollywood, The Air You Breathe is "a masterfully choreographed saga of friendship, envy, sacrifice and love--as soulful, layered, and intoxicating as the samba that reverberates from the page." —Georgia Hunter and “[A] glittering, mesmerizing triumph of a novel.” —Alexander Chee 

    Frances de Pontes Peebles is the author of The Seamstress, winner of the James Michener-Copernicus Society of America Fellowship. She was born in Pernambuco, Brazil.


    September 9, 2018 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join us for the Sunday International Writing Program Prairie Lights Reading Series to hear writers from all over the world read from their work. 

    Yamila Bêgné (fiction writer; Argentina), a teacher of creative writing, is the author of three experimental story anthologies, most recently Los Límites del control [Limits of Control] (2017), and a non-fiction writer. A recipient of a 2006 Letters and Illustration award from the Ministry of Culture in Buenos Aires, in 2017 she attended a CUNY residency on a Néstor Sánchez Grant. She participates courtesy of the Embajada de Estados Unidos en Argentina.

    Dan Coman (fiction writer, poet; Romania) has published four books of poems and three novels. Winner of the 2004 Mihai Eminescu Award for the poetry collection anul cârtiței galbene [The Year of the Yellow Mole], Coman has also received the 2004 Romanian Writers Union Prize, the 2011 Crystal Vilenica Prize, and Radio Romania’s Cultural Awards for 2011 and 2017. His work has been anthologized, and translated into seven languages, English included. His participation was made possible by the U.S. Embassy Bucharest.

    Ekaterina Petrova is a literary translator, journalist, and interpreter from Sofia, Bulgaria. After receiving a BA in International Studies and German Studies from Macalester College and an MSc in European Politics from the London School of Economics, she is currently pursuing an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa, where she has been awarded the Iowa Arts Fellowship. Her literary translations and her nonfiction writing have appeared in a variety of Bulgarian and English-language publications.

  • JACQUELINE WOODSON in conversation with Alexia Arthurs

    September 8, 2018 - 1:00pm

    The Englert Theater

    Ticketed Event

    Please join us for a special event at The Englert Theater, featuring Jacqueline Woodson in conversation with Alexia Arthurs. Woodson will be reading from and discussing her two new books for middle grade and young readers, Harbor Me and The Day You Begin, illustrated by Rafael López. Woodson and Arthur will discuss timely issues that affect childrens' lives and education, noting the power literature has to keep them hopeful in stressful times.

    Jacqueline Woodson is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. She received the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and Children's Literature Legacy Award. Her New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, won the National Book Award, as well as the Coretta Scott King Award, Newbery Honor Award, and NAACP Image Award. Her adult book, Another Brooklyn, was a National Book Award finalist, and her many books for young readers include Newbery Honor winners Feathers, Show Way, and After Tupac and D Foster, and the picture book Each Kindness, which won the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

    Alexia Arthurs is an Afro-Caribbean writer and the author of How to Love a Jamaican. Arthurs was born and raised in Jamaica and moved with her family to Brooklyn when she was twelve. A graduate of Hunter College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she has been published in Granta, The Sewanee Review, Small Axe, Virginia Quarterly Review, Vice, and The Paris Review, which awarded her the Plimpton Prize in 2017. She is teaching in the Iowa Writers' Workshop this Fall.

    Purchase tickets at The Englert Theater Box Office, beginning August 8 at 12:30pm.


    September 7, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Dana Bowman will read from her new recovery memoir How to be Perfect Like Mewhich is featured for the month of September on The Today Show’s website.  Dana Bowman can’t escape the lure of perfectionism, but when she experiences a short-lived relapse during the Christmas holiday, she has the startling realization that recovery is more than just giving up alcohol. A funny and revealing follow-up to her best-selling book Bottled: A Mom’s Guide to Early Recovery.

    Author of the popular, Bowman leads and presents workshops on both writing and addiction, with a special emphasis on being a woman in recovery and a parent. She lives in Kansas.