Archive

  • International Writing Program Sunday Reading Series

    October 2, 2022 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Join us for the International Writing Program at Prairie Lights Sunday Reading Series to hear some of this years’ IWP residents read from their work. Readers TBA.

  • Jim Throgmorton at the Iowa City Public Library

    October 2, 2022 - 2:00pm

    Iowa City Public Library

    An Iowa City Book Festival Event

    Former Iowa City Mayor and Urban & Regional Planning Professor Emeritus Jim Throgmorton will talk about his book, Co-Crafting the Just City: Tales from the Field by a Planning Scholar Turned Mayor. The book documents efforts to alleviate race-related inequities, increase the supply of affordable housing, adopt an ambitious climate action plan, improve relationships between city government and diverse marginalized communities, pursue more inclusive and sustainable land development codes/policies, and more. 

    He will be joined by panelists Mary Mascher, Zachary Owen SmithRuthina Malone and moderator David McMahon.

    This event is sponsored by the UNESCO City of Literature.

  • RANDALL MUNROE TICKETED EVENT: WHAT IF? 2 in conversation with Cornelia Lang

    September 30, 2022 - 7:00pm

    First United Methodist Church: 214 E Jefferson St., Iowa City, IA, 52245

    THE IOWA CITY BOOK FESTIVAL AND PRAIRIE LIGHTS BOOKS PRESENTS RANDALL MUNROE!

    Munroe will be joined in conversation by Cornelia Lang.

    This is a bundled ticketed event, price includes General Admission for one, and a hardcover copy of What If? 2, to be picked up at the venue during check-in. The price is $31.80 + $2.58 fee.  Link to purchase tickets is HERE.

    The #1 New York Times–bestselling author of What If? and How To provides his best answers yet to the weirdest questions you never thought to ask.

    The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger. Thank goodness xkcd creator Randall Munroe is here to help. Planning to ride a fire pole from the moon back to Earth? The hardest part is sticking the landing. Hoping to cool the atmosphere by opening everyone’s freezer door at the same time? Maybe it’s time for a brief introduction to thermodynamics. Want to know what would happen if you rode a helicopter blade, built a billion-story building, made a lava lamp out of lava, or jumped on a geyser as it erupted? Okay, if you insist.

    Before you go on a cosmic road trip, feed the residents of New York City to a T. rex, or fill every church with bananas, be sure to consult this practical guide for impractical ideas. Unfazed by absurdity, Randall consults the latest research on everything from swing-set physics to airplane-catapult design to clearly and concisely answer his readers’ questions. As he consistently demonstrates, you can learn a lot from examining how the world might work in very specific extreme circumstances.

    Randall Munroe is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers What If? and Thing Explainer, the science question-and-answer blog What If, and the popular webcomic xkcd. A former NASA roboticist, he left the agency in 2006 to draw comics on the internet full-time. He lives in Massachusetts.

    Cornelia Lang is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa. Her research interests focus on understanding the astrophysics at the very center of our Milky Way Galaxy and of other nearby galaxies. 

    Munroe will talk about What If?2, take audience questions, meet fans, and sign copies of the book. 

    Masks are required at this event.

  • The Paul Engle Award Ceremony Featuring Rebecca Solnit in Conversation with Lyz Lenz

    September 29, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Coralville Public Library 1401 5th Street, Coralville, IA 52241

    Please join us for the Iowa City Book Festival Paul Engle Award at the Coralville Library! Rebecca Solnit has been named the eleventh recipient of the Paul Engle Prize, and at this special event, Solnit will be presented the award by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization, and will talk about her work with Lyz Lenz.

    Rebecca Solnit is a writer, historian, and activist who has written more than twenty books on feminism, environmental and urban history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, and hope and disaster, including Call Them By Their True NamesMen Explain Things to MeRecollections of My Nonexistence, and Orwell's Roses.She has received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award. She is a columnist at the Guardian and a former “Easy Chair” columnist at Harper’s. 

    Lyz Lenz’s writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, Pacific Standard, and elsewhere. Her book God Land was published in 2019, through Indiana University Press. Her second book Belabored, was published in 2020 by Bold Type Books. Lyz’s essay “All the Angry Women” was also included in the anthology Not that Bad edited by Roxane Gay. Her third book, This American Ex Wife, will be published by Crown. Lyz received her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. She lives in Iowa with her two kids and two dogs and one cat. 

  • An Evening with Anthony Doerr

    September 28, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Englert Theatre - 221 E. Washington St Iowa City

    THE IOWA CITY BOOK FESTIVAL AND PRAIRIE LIGHTS PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH ANTHONY DOERR!

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr will present a lecture with slides and take audience questions about his new book, Cloud Cuckoo Land.  Tickets may be purchased through the Englert Theatre for $25 plus fees, and each ticketholder will receive a paperback copy of Cloud Cuckoo Land at the event.  Link to puchase tickets HERE. Masks will be required at the event.

    Beloved author Anthony Doerr follows All the Light We Cannot See with Cloud Cuckoo Land—a triumph of imagination and compassion called a “wildly inventive, humane and uplifting book for adults that’s infused with the magic of childhood reading experiences.” Cloud Cuckoo Land was a finalist for the National Book Award, and All the Light We Cannot See won the Pulitzer Prize and the Carnegie Medal. Doerr is also the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize.

     

  • International Writing Program Sunday Reading Series

    September 25, 2022 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Join us for the International Writing Program at Prairie Lights Sunday Reading Series to hear IWP 2022 Fall Residency writers Pavla Horáková and Carey Baraka—as well as University of Iowa MFA Candidate in Fiction David DeGusta—read from their work.

    Pavla Horáková (novelist, non-fiction writer, journalist, translator; Czech Republic) is the author of five novels, including a children’s trilogy, and two non-fiction titles. Her widely translated Teorie podivnosti  [A Theory of Strangeness] won the 2019 Magnesia Litera Award for best work of  Czech fiction; Srdce Evropy  [The Heart of Europe] was in a national critics’ poll voted among the best books of 2021. A recipient of two awards for her literary translations, she also has a long career in radio journalism. Her participation is possible thanks to a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

    Carey Baraka (nonfiction; fiction; editor; Kenya) has had his nonfiction published in Foreign Policy, The Guardian Longreads, Johannesburg Review of Books, Serious Eats, Guernica and elsewhere; his fiction has appeared, among other places, in Slice Magazine, The Common, and Gay Magazine. His work has received support from The Pulitzer Centre for Global Reporting and the Silvers Foundation; he is at work on his first novel.  A grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State has made possible his participation.

    David DeGusta is a second-year MFA student in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His writing has been published in Boulevard and Catapult, among other places, and will be included in the forthcoming Best New Writers 2022 anthology from the Masters Review. He also translates from Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia.

    Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the IWP in advance at iwp@uiowa.edu or (319) 335-0128.

  • Black Author's Panel with Arnold Daniels Jr., Donika Kelly, and Gabrielle Williams, and Eliza David

    September 24, 2022 - 11:00am

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Please join us for this year's Black Author's Panel in conjunction with the Iowa City Soul & Blues Festival. This year's event will be moderated by Arnold Daniels Jr., and feature readings and conversation with Donika KellyGabrielle Williams, and Eliza David.

    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.

    Donika Kelly is the author of The Renunciations (Graywolf), winner of the Anisfield-Wolf book award in poetry, and Bestiary (Graywolf), the winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and a Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Kelly’s poetry has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Publishing Triangle Awards, the Lambda Literary Awards, and longlisted for the National Book Award. 

    Eliza David is the romance author of twelve self-published novels, including the six-book Cougarette series. She was born and raised on the noisy South Side of Chicago, but now works as a librarian in quiet Iowa City, one of the renowned Cities of Literature.

    Gabrielle Williams was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. She’s a mother to two—Isabella and Israel—author, personal trainer, mentor and personal chef. She always knew she wanted to be a cook since the age of 7, sitting in the kitchen watching her mom and grandma cook. She also watched cooking shows and cooked her first meal at the age of 8: some baked chicken, just like a lady on TV. She enjoys cooking for her family and others. 

  • Nabil Ayers & James Spooner

    September 23, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Nabil Ayers and James Spooner, moderated by UI Professor Deborah Whaley.  

    Nabil Ayers is a music industry executive, writer, and musician as well as CEO of Beggars Group USA, one of the preeminent global music labels, which has elevated countless independent artists into the larger contemporary music conversation. He has been a drummer in several bands and is the son of jazz-funk luminary Roy Ayers. Nabil will read from his just released debut book My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for My Father and Discovering My Family.

    James Spooner is a revered tattoo artist who just released The High Desert, a new coming-of-age graphic memoir. He directed the groundbreaking documentary Afro-Punk in 2003 which explored the experiences and tensions of Black Americans in punk/alternative scenes. Among numerous subjects, the film focused on the late singer/musician Matt Davis who was a member of the Iowa City band Ten Grand.

    Deborah Whaley is an artist, curator, writer, poet, and Professor of African American Studies at the University of Iowa.

    Presented by Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa Office of Performing Arts & Engagement, and The Englert Theatre in collaboration with Prairie Lights. 

  • Yiyun Li in conversation with Lan Samantha Chang

    September 22, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Yiyun Li in celebration of the release of her book The Book of Goose (FSG, 2022). She will be joined in conversation by Lan Samantha Chang

    Yiyun Li is the author of six works of fiction—Must I Go, Where Reasons End, Kinder Than Solitude, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, The Vagrants, and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl—and the memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. She is the recipient of many awards, including a PEN/Hemingway Award, a PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and a Windham-Campbell Prize, and was featured in The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 fiction issue. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, The Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories, among other publications. She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

    Lan Samantha Chang’s new novel, The Family Chao, was published by W. W. Norton in February 2022. She is the author of two previous novels, All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost and Inheritance, and a story collection, Hunger. Her short stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, and The Best American Short Stories. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy in Berlin. Chang is the director of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives with her husband and daughter in Iowa City, Iowa.

    Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the IWP in advance at iwp@uiowa.edu or (319) 335-0128

  • Ama Codjoe in conversation with Donika Kelly and Evie Shockley

    September 21, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Ama Codjoe in celebration of the release of her book Bluest Nude (Milkweed Press, 2022). Ama will be joined in conversation by Donika Kelly and Evie Shockley.

    You can register for the event on Zoom here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FckYI_QkQuqZ6g5uT0t_2w

    Ama Codjoe is the author of Bluest Nude and Blood of the Air, winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. She has been awarded support from Cave Canem, Robert Rauschenberg, and Saltonstall foundations as well as from Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Hawthornden, Hedgebrook, Yaddo, and MacDowell. Her recent poems have appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The Best American Poetry series and elsewhere. Among other honors, Codjoe has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council/New York Foundation of the Arts, and the Jerome Foundation.

    Donika Kelly is the author of The Renunciations (Graywolf), winner of the Ansfield-Wolf book award in poetry, and Bestiary (Graywolf), the winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and a Kate Tufts Discovery Award. A Cave Canem graduate fellow and a founding member of the collective Poets at the End of the World, she is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Iowa. 

    Evie Shockley thinks, creates, and writes with her eye on a Black feminist horizon. Her books of poetry include suddenly we (forthcoming 2023), semiautomatic, and the new black.  Her work has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, has twice garnered the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and has appeared internationally.  Her honors include the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry and the Stephen Henderson Award, and her joys include being a member of the collective Poets at the End of the World.  Shockley is the Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University.