March 20, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Paul's Book Club in March will be reading Augustown by Kei Miller. 

    Augustown by Workshop graduate, Kei Miller, brings Jamaica in the 1980s to a a lively glow a family's struggle to rise above the brutal vicissitudes of history, race, class, collective memory, violence and myth. Miller brings the language of the Caribbean to life and writes with the beauty of V. S. Naipaul, Jamaica Kinkaid, and Marlon James.

    "Miller's writing has a cool immediacy that gives more than a nod to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A vivid modern fable."—The Guardian

    My wife, Ellen, introduced me to this wonderful book and I've been talking it up ever since!



    March 15, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Megan Griswold will read from The Book of Help, a tragically funny memoir-in-remedies. “In a world full of spiritual seekers, Megan Griswold is an undisputed All-Star. She has spent her life examining her existence in patient, courageous, and microscopic detail, and now she has written about her search with tender and comic honesty. A delightful journey.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love

    Megan Griswold went to Barnard College, received an MA from Yale, and went on to earn a licentiate degree from the Institute of Taoist Education and Acupuncture. She has trained and received certifications as a doula, shiatsu practitioner, yoga instructor, personal trainer, and in wilderness medicine, among others. She has worked as a mountain instructor, a Classical Five Element acupuncturist, a freelance reporter, an NPR All Things Considered commentator and an off-the-grid interior designer. She resides (mostly) in a yurt in Kelly, Wyoming.


    March 13, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduates G.C. Waldrep and Karla Kelsey will read from their new work.

    G.C. Waldrep will read from his recent poetry collection feast gently. “This is a book of visions, one that gives us a sound heard in extremity . . . This is a last moment, when no story we pretend to tell of ourselves ever will suffice. Only the lyric will, its belling of a spell. I love Waldrep’s work.” — Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa

    G.C. Waldrep is the author, most recently, of the long poem Testament. Recent work has appeared in APR, Paris Review, New England Review, Yale Review, Colorado Review, Conjunctions, New American Writing, Denver Quarterly, and other journals. Waldrep lives in Lewisburg, Pa., where he teaches at Bucknell University and edits the journal West Branch.  From 2007 to 2018 he served as Editor-at-Large for The Kenyon Review.

    Karla Kelsey will read from her recent essay collection Of Sphere. “Kelsey posits that looking inward is but a way of looking out, or is it the other way around? Of Sphere renders the question moot. All points on a sphere are equidistant from the center. Herein find the glorious chaosmos.” —Mónica de la Torre, author of The Happy End / All Welcome

    Karla Kelsey is the author of three books of poetry, A Conjoined Book, Iteration Nets, and Knowledge, Forms, the Aviary. She has received awards from the Poetry Society of America and the Fulbright Scholars Program. She edits the poetry book review website The Constant Critic, and with Aaron McCollough co-publishes SplitLevel Texts, a press specializing in hybrid genre projects.


    March 13, 2019 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    2020 Democratic Presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, will read from and talk about his book, The War on Normal People. "In this powerful book, Andrew Yang highlights the urgent need to rewrite America's social contract. In a call to arms that comes from both head and heart, Yang has made an important contribution to the debate about where America is headed and what we need to do about it."—Alec Ross

    Andrew Yang is the founder of Venture for America, a non-profit that places top college graduates in start-ups for two years in emerging U.S. cities to generate job growth and train the next generation of entrepreneurs. Yang was named a Presidential Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship and a Champion of Change by the White House and one of Fast Company's "100 Most Creative People in Business." He was also named to the National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Department of Commerce. He is a graduate of Columbia Law, where he was an Editor of the Law Review, and Brown University where he graduated with degrees in Economics and Political Science.


    March 12, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Bosnian writer Asja Bakić will read from her new story collection Mars. She will be in conversation with translator and Iowa Translation/Nonfiction Workshops alum Jennifer Zoble, and leading Slavic languages scholar and visiting professor Ellen Elias-Bursać. Mars “strikingly examines sci-fi tropes from not only the point of view of women, but also from the voice of an effortlessly gifted writer.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

    Asja Bakić is a Bosnian poet, writer, and translator. She was selected as one of Literary Europe Live's New Voices from Europe, and her writing has been translated into seven languages.

    Jennifer Zoble translates Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian- and Spanish-language literature. Her translations have appeared in Washington Square, The Iowa Review, The Baffler, and elsewhere. She received a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and is an assistant clinical professor in the interdisciplinary Liberal Studies program at NYU.

    Ellen Elias-Bursać translates Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian literature, including work by David Albahari, Dubravka Ugrešić, and Daša Drndić. She is co-author of a textbook for the study of Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian and author of Translating Evidence and Interpreting Testimony at a War Crimes Tribunal: Working in a Tug-of-War, awarded the Mary Zirin Prize.


    March 11, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    National Book Award finalist Salvatore Scibona will read from his new novel, The Volunteer. “Scibona exhibits a command of language and demonstrates a knack for dramatizing the tidal pull of history on individual destiny.  The novel accrues real power as its vividly imagined characters try to make sense of an often senseless world. This is a bold, rewarding novel.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

    Salvatore Scibona's first novel,The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Young Lions Fiction Award. His work has won a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, and a Whiting Award; and the New Yorkernamed him one of its "20 Under 40" fiction writers to watch. He directs the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.    


    March 10, 2019 - 3:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    For this special Women’s History Month event, founding member of the Time’s Up movement Amber Tamblyn will read from and talk about her new book: Era of Ignition: Coming of Age in a Time of Rage and Revolution. 

    Tamblyn defines an Era of Ignition as “the time of self-reflection that follows in the wake of personal upheaval and leads to a call to action and positive change.” In Era of Ignition, she writes of her own struggle for identity after becoming famous as an actress at a young age, and her Era of Ignition in a larger sense, where she addresses gender inequality and the judgment paradigm, misogyny and discrimination, trauma and the veiled complexities of consent, white feminism and pay parity, reproductive rights and sexual assault.  

    Tamblyn is the author of the poetry volumes Bang Dittoand  Dark Sparkler, and a novel, Any Man. She is  a contributing writer for the New York Times, in addition to being an actor and director. She’s been nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Award for her work in television and film, including House M.D. and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Most recently, she wrote and directed the feature film Paint It Black.She lives in New York.

    "Amber is a unique combination–a creative powerhouse as well as a fierce activist and advocate who understands that 'feminist' is not a passive label. Era of Ignition is beautifully written, unflinchingly honest, and laugh-out-loud funny. This is a coming-of-age story that chronicles not only Amber's life and career, but this once-in-a-generation moment when women across America are discovering power and strength we never knew we had." —Cecile Richards


    March 8, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Poets Mark Conway and Adam Giannelli will read from their new collections.

    Mark Conway will read from rivers of the driftless regionpublished by Four Way Books. “Intensely aware of the ways that violence and humiliation conspire not just to silence voices but also the capacity to think, Mark Conway has written a dazzling quest-rodeo of the inner life.”—Mary Szybist

    Mark Conway is the author of Dreaming Man, Face Down, and Only City. He has received residencies from the MacDowell Colony and the Corporation of Yaddo, a fellowship from the Jerome Foundation, a scholarship from Breadloaf, and won a number of prizes, including the Gerald Cable Book Award, the Aldrich Poetry Competition, and the Grolier Poetry Prize. 

    Adam Giannelli will read from Tremulous Hinge, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize. “This extraordinary and sobering debut begins with a literal stutter—‘Since I couldn't say tomorrow / I said Wednesday.’ In trade for this impediment, Adam Giannelli finds that, in poetry, what can’t be said gives way to what must be said.” —Craig Morgan Teicher

    Giannelli is the translator of a selection of prose poems by Marosa di Giorgio, Diadem. His poems and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post Magazine, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares. He is a doctoral candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah, where he is a graduate research fellow at the Tanner Humanities Center.


    March 7, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Journalist Frye Gaillard will read from his recent book A Hard Rain: America in the 1960's, Our Decade of Hope, Possibility, and Innocence Lost, in this special event sponsored by the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. A deeply personal history of a decade, Gaillard explores the competing story arcs of tragedy and hope through the political, cultural, and social movements of the times, from Malcolm X to Janis Joplin; from Gloria Steinem to James Baldwin. “An enlightening picture of America at a historic juncture.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    Frye Gaillard is the writer or editor of more than twenty-five books, including Go South to Freedom, The Dream Long Deferred: The Landmark Struggle for Desegregation in Charlotte, North Carolina,and Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America. He is former Southern Editor atThe Charlotte Observer, where he covered Charlotte’s landmark school desegregation controversy, the ill-fated ministry of televangelist Jim Bakker, and the funeral of Elvis Presley. Gaillard now lives on the Alabama Gulf Coast.


    March 6, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Nickolas Butler will read from his new book, Little Faith.  A Wisconsin family grapples with the power and limitations of faith when one of their own falls under the influence of a radical church. “Breathtaking yet devastating.... Butler weaves questions surrounding faith, regret, and whether it’s possible to love unconditionally into every page of this potent book.... This is storytelling at its finest.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    Nickolas Butler was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He is the author of the novel The Hearts of Men, the internationally bestselling and prizewinning novel Shotgun Lovesongs, and the acclaimed short story collection Beneath the Bonfire. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and their two children.