February 20, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Mitchell S. Jackson will read from and discuss Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family.  

    "Mitchell Jackson's Survival Math is riveted by his exacting and tender calculus of each subject's depth and humanity. Each hustle, dodge and scramble we witness in these pages is anchored in the turbulent sea of American history."--Tyehimba Jess  

    Mitchell S. Jackson's honors include the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, a Whiting Award, and fellowships from the Cullman Center of the New York Public Library, TED, the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, PEN, NYFA, and the Center for Fiction. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, The Guardian, and elsewhere. He is the author of The Residue Years, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Chicago. 

    This reading, which is part of The Krause Series in Contemporary Nonfiction, is sponsored by The Nonfiction Writing Program, the Department of English, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Provost’s Office, and the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation.


    February 19, 2020 - 7:01pm

    Iowa City Public Library Meeting Room D

    Please join Paul Ingram’s book club at the Iowa City Public Library to discuss Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. All are welcome! This modern classic is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their grandmother, then of two comically bumbling aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. Their struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival. “I found myself reading slowly, than more slowly--this is not a novel to be hurried through, for every sentence is a delight.” ―Doris Lessing


    February 19, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Brandon Taylor will read from his highly anticipated debut novel, Real Life.  Danielle Evans describes Real Life as “a gorgeous work of art, and the introduction of a singular new voice. Through Wallace, the book explores the tension of a person trying to become himself while surrounded by people who can see him only as their own projection. Even as Brandon Taylor dives beneath the level of polite surface interaction and into the ache of what people conceal from one another, or reveal only as weaponry, his sharply rendered observations make it a true pleasure to spend time in this book’s world.” Kiese Laymon says,  "This book blew my head and heart off. For a debut novelist to disentangle and rebraid intimacy, terror, and joy this finely seems like a myth. But that, and so much more, is what Brandon Taylor has done in Real Life . The future of the novel is here and Brandon Taylor is that future's name."

    Brandon Taylor is the senior editor of Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading and a staff writer at Literary Hub. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.


    February 18, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    The Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing presents acclaimed essayist and NYT bestselling author Jia Tolentino. A staff writer for the New Yorker, Tolentino will read from her renowned debut collection, Trick Mirror, and discuss her essays on modern culture during a Q&A.  

    "It isn't hyperbolic to say that New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino could be the Joan Didion of our time--writing about feminism, vaping, popular music, religion, and sexual assault with equal amounts of ease and insight. In her debut essay collection, the writer unveils nine new pieces that help cement her place in the essayist canon. She's an expert in the sweet spot where contemporary politics and youth culture meet and make out." --Vulture

    Raised in Texas, she studied at the University of Virginia before serving in Kyrgyzstan in the Peace Corps and receiving her MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan. She was a contributing editor at The Hairpin and the deputy editor at Jezebel, and her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Grantland, Pitchfork, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.


    February 17, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Kate Wisel will talk about her linked short stories, Driving in Cars With Homeless Men.  "Driving in Cars With Homeless Men is gritty in the best sense. These 20 linked short stories -- some of them very short -- offer up hard granules of truth about contemporary women contending with dispossession, oppression and violence. By focusing on the lives and friendships of four main characters living in working-class too does she reveal bigger realities about substance abuse, family, anger and hope."-- Kathleen Rooney

    Kate Wisel is a native of Boston. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in publications that include Gulf Coast, New Ohio Review, Tin House online, Redivider as winner of the Beacon Street prize, and on the Boston subway as winner of the "Poetry on the T" contest. She lives in Chicago.

  • Clubfoot


    February 13, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Thomas Cook, PT, PhD,  will read from and talk about his new book published by Ice Cube Press, Clubfoot: The Quest for a Better Life for Millions of Children.  Clubfoot tells the little-known story of the remarkable Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, who developed a revolutionary non-surgical treatment for Clubfoot to eliminate lifelong disability for the 200,000 children born every year with this deformity.  Dr. Ignacio Ponseti (1914-2009), began his medical career as a medic in the Spanish Civil War before being he was forced into exile in France and then Mexico. He emigrated from Mexico to Iowa City in 1941 to study with the orthopedic surgeon Arthur Steindler, and began his life-long quest to reshape children’s futures from lives of pain and disability to lives of hope and promise. 

    Clubfoot author Thomas Cook was fortunate to know and work with Dr. Ponseti for several years. Professor Cook is a physical therapist, biomedical engineer, global health expert, and Fulbright Scholar. He is Director of Global Operations for the Ponseti International Association, a founding member of the Rotarian Action Group for Clubfoot, a co-founder of the non-profit Clubfoot Solutions and one of the developers of the Iowa Brace. 



    February 12, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    University of Iowa alum Michael Zapata will read from his debut novel, The Lost Book of Adana Moreau. "Zapata is a thrilling new talent. Alternating between the quest for a man in post-Katrina New Orleans for whom a mystery manuscript was left to be posthumously delivered, and the tale the manuscript itself tells, The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is an ambitious novel that probes for friendship, the possibility of parallel worlds, and the way the real and the unreal meet at every moment."—Ingrid Rojas Contreras

    Michael Zapata is a founding editor of MAKE: A Literary Magazine. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for Fiction; the City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Program award; and a Pushcart Nomination. As an educator, he taught literature and writing in high schools servicing drop out students. He has lived in New Orleans, Italy, and Ecuador, and currently lives in Chicago.


    February 6, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Sean Adams will read from his imaginative and darkly hilarious satire, The Heap. "As intellectually playful as the best of Thomas Pynchon and as sardonically warm as the best of Kurt Vonnegut, The Heap is both a hilarious send-up of life under late capitalism and a moving exploration of the peculiar loneliness of the early 21st century. A masterful and humane gem of a novel."-- Shaun Hamill

    Sean Adams is a graduate of Bennington College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His fiction has appeared in Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, The Normal School, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Arkansas International, and elsewhere. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, Emma, and their various pets.


    February 5, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers' Workshop Graduate Tola Rotimi Abraham will read from her “fresh and fierce debut,” Black Sunday. “...Tola Rotimi Abraham proves that it's an act of indelible resistance every time a young woman tells her story. Through the eyes of a family at its brink, Abraham reveals the truth about violence, tenderness, and the disquiet in between. Black Sunday is a surprising switchblade of a novel." --Amy Jo Burns

    Tola Rotimi Abraham is from Lagos, Nigeria. She lives in Iowa City and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in journalism. A 2017 graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she has taught writing at the University of Iowa, and her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Catapult, The Des Moines Register, and The Nigerian Literary Magazine.


    February 2, 2020 - 1:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Ronnie Cummins will read from and talk about Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food, and a Green New Deal. This book offers a blueprint for building and supercharging a grassroots Regeneration Movement based on consumer activism, farmer innovation, political change, and regenerative finance. Using regenerative agriculture practices that restore our agricultural and grazing lands, we can sequester massive amounts of carbon in the soil. Coupled with an aggressive transition toward renewables, he argues that we have the power to not only mitigate and slow down climate change, but actually reverse global warming.

    Ronnie Cummins is founder and director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), and also serves on the steering committee of Regeneration International and OCA's Mexican affiliate, Vía Orgánica.

    "Regenerative agriculture is going to be a key phrase in the decades ahead--and this book will get you in on the ground floor, so to speak. Not much could be more important!"--Bill McKibben