March 31, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    This event has been canceled and will be rescheduled.

    David L. Bluder will read from The Great Gamble, published by Ice Cube Press. “Relentlessly entertaining. Heart pounding. Sometimes when I didn’t want it to be. Is everybody making money from sports gambling but me? David Bluder knows a lot about sports and gambling, but he knows even more about character development. It’s about ice cold international financial crimes, but it’s also human people sharing human feelings and it’s so well written you can feel the weather change. The surprises are stellar. You’ll go back and reread a few chapters to see why you didn’t see everything coming. The only thing that was a little unsettling was, apparently, I have to figure out what all these guys do next. A great book.” —Tom Arnold, Actor, Comedian, Television Host

    David Bluder holds a degree in Business from Northern Iowa University and received his MBA at St. Ambrose University. Before becoming an author, David was a banker, politician, business owner and investor, as well as taught Business Policies at the University of Iowa. ​He currently lives with his wife, Lisa Bluder (20 years as University of Iowa Women's Basketball and 2019 Naismith Coach of the Year) and three children. 


    March 29, 2020 - 2:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    This event will be rescheduled !

    Connie Mutel, Jean Prior, and Rebecca Conard present Iowa State Parks, published by the Iowa Parks Foundation.   Iowa State Parks commemorates the origins of our state parks and the riches they offer in the present.  The photo essays at the heart of this book feature the artistry of well-known nature photographers such as Carl Kurtz, Brian Gibbs, Don Poggensee, and Larry Stone. The images help tell the stories of Iowa’s state parks, recreation areas, preserves, and forests. A historical overview sets the stage, followed by five essays on key aspects of our park system.

    “Iowans now have a great up-to-date pathway to the entire park system. A must for anyone who camps, hikes, boats, fishes, photographs, birds, or in other ways uses these marvelous areas.”—Jim Dinsmore


    March 26, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    This event has been canceled. 

    The Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program presents poet, essayist, translator, and cultural critic Lew Hyde, who will talk about his work.  Hyde is currently an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Writer and his reading at Prairie Lights is part of The Krause Series in Contemporary Nonfiction.

    "In A Primer for Forgetting, that bold yet gentle intellectual adventurer, Lewis Hyde, harrows the bottomless mysteries of memory and forgetting, trauma and recovery, amnesia and commemoration, reconciliation and forgiveness. If this deep, poignant, soulful, inquisitive, gently tragic and disarmingly erudite book were nine times longer, I would still have felt sad when I realized it was coming to an end." --Michael Chabon


    March 25, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    This event has been canceled. 

    Journalist and Historian Craig Fehrman will read from Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote.  "Craig Fehrman takes us from Thomas Jefferson--a president who happened also to be the best prose stylist around--to the age of the obligatory campaign biography, on to the modern blockbuster. Along the way we meet revisionists, ghost writers (Truman went through four), runaway bestsellers (it seems there was a sport at which Calvin Coolidge excelled), surprising flops. We learn that the Civil War turned the occasional authorial impulse into a flood of literature; that Nathaniel Hawthorne quietly wrote a campaign biography; that the most literate presidents can meet with the worst reviews." --Stacy Schiff

    Craig Fehrman has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Indiana.


    March 24, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    *** This event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule these poets in the Fall***

    Writers’ Workshop Poetry alums Sara London and Rebecca Lehmann will read from Upkeep and Ringer. Poetry editor of The Woven Tale Press Sara London will read from Upkeep.  “I greatly admire how her understanding of elegy is in tension with her humor and essential hopefulness...her work embodies what Seamus Heaney once called ‘the steadfastness of speech articulation,’ in which her care for language is continuous with her care for other people and the world.”--Tom Sleigh

    Rebecca Lehmann will read from Ringer, Winner of the 2018 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry.  “...the whole book rings with surprising images and zingy word-choices, all dedicated to presenting the most mundane things in their truly astonishing particularity. Sharply attuned to issues relating to women—and the ways they've intensified in the current political climate—the work speaks with a fierce and necessary determination infused with an energy not devoid of hope.--Cole Swensen



    March 22, 2020 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    This event has been canceled, and will possibly be rescheduled in the Fall. 

    Translator Janet Hendrickson will talk about originality and translation in the context of Treasure of the Castilian or Spanish Language, her experimental translation of a seventeenth-century dictionary by Sebastián de Covarrubias.  “Sebastián de Covarrubias’s famous Treasure of the Castilian or Spanish Language was first published in 1611, only two years before the author’s death. A contemporary of Cervantes, learned in Hebrew and Arabic languages, Covarrubias wrote his encyclopedic dictionary to explore the heterogeneous origins of words and their hidden connections to the moral, transcendental, and everyday meanings of the world. Here, the translator Janet Hendrickson has dived deep into this influential, pre-Enlightenment text to cull a coherent, poetic selection of Covarrubias’s pioneering work.” Hendrickson has earned MFAs from both the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program as well as the MFA in Translation program at Iowa, and Treasure of the Castilian delights in both literary arts.

    Janet Hendrickson taught for several years in the Spanish department at Iowa, and is the translator of The Future Is Not Ours, an anthology of Latin American writers born since 1970. She is currently a PhD candidate in Romance Studies at Cornell. 


    March 20, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    This event was rescheduled for April 10th, which is now also canceled.


    March 18, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Paul's Book Club has been canceled. We're sorry! 

    Census tells the story of a widower who learns that he doesn’t have long to live, and he is faced with the question of who will care for his adult son with Down syndrome? To fund one last trip to see the world with his son, the man signs up as a census taker for a mysterious governmental bureau.  As they travel, some townspeople welcome the pair into their homes, others are wary of their presence, and the purpose of the census grows more mysterious. 

    “[Ball’s] most personal and best to date... [A] point — about the beautiful varieties of perception, of experience — made without sentimentality, burns at the core of the book, and of much of Ball’s work, which rails against the tedium of consensus, the cruelty of conformity.” -New York Times

    The book recommendation still holds true, however the event will not be rescheduled. 


    March 16, 2020 - 11:00am

    Please check back for rescheduling!  This will be a read-aloud and talk for children and adults about the most recent book by the 100Grannies, Granny Green’s Friendly Yard!  The story features wise Granny Green who helps her grandkids take care of the environment, right in their own backyard!  What are pollinators, how natural lawn care supports them, and how to wish on a dandelion puffball are all lessons from Granny.   Each page has a butterfly for the reader to search and find. Granny Green’s Friendly Yard is a locally sourced book, with colorful and beautiful illustration by Ariane Parkes Perret, who will talk about the illustration process.  All ages are welcome- copies of Granny Green's Friendly Yard will be available for purchase, adults will receive a free yard sign for pledging natural lawn care, and children will receive a take-home activity.  This event is co-sponsored by Backyard Abundance and 100Grannies.

    We plan to reschedule this Summer! Please check back!



    March 11, 2020 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Former Director of the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program Robin Hemley will read from his new book, Borderline Citizen. In Borderline Citizen Hemley wrestles with what it means to be a citizen of the world, taking readers on a singular journey through the hinterlands of national identity.  "Robin Hemley has traveled to more countries than just about anyone I know, and along the way he's collected vital observations on the tragic absurdity of nationalism and the implicit violence of a world crisscrossed with borders. I think of him in the company of Pankaj Mishra, Pico Iyer, Bruce Chatwin, and John Berger--writers whose transnational souls challenge the idea of a single place of origin."--Jess Row Hemley is the author of numerous books, including Invented EdenReply All: StoriesA Field Guide for Immersion Writing; Nola; Turning Life into Fiction; and Do-Over! He has won many awards for his writing, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Pushcart Prizes, as well as residencies at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Fine Arts Work in Provincetown, the MacDowell Colony, and others.  

    Inara Verzemnieks is an assistant professor at the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. The author of Among the Living and the Dead, she is also the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award, and was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing.