May 20, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate and author of The Invisible Bridge Julie Orringer will read from her new novel The Flight Portfolio.  “A historical novel absolutely relevant to our own time, The Flight Portfolio brings to life a hero as complex and engrossing as the agonizing ethical questions he faces. Orringer not only recreates the world of wartime Marseille, but seems to drop the reader there by way of a masterfully fashioned literary trapdoor–and anyone who picks up this spectacular novel risks a swift descent into its vivid and consuming swirl.” —Nell Freudenberger

    Julie Orringer is also the author of the award-winning short-story collection How to Breathe Underwater, which was a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in Brooklyn.



    May 15, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join Paul’s book club at Prairie Lights to talk about Wild Milk, by Sabrina Orah Mark.  


    May 10, 2019 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing are pleased to present our annual Writing Certificate Reception and Capstone Reading. Select graduating students will read from their work, followed by a reception in the Prairie Lights Café.


    May 9, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Local author Marianne Maili will read from her novel, Lucy, go see. Called an “intriguing tale of sexual revelation” by Kirkus Reviews, Lucy, go see is the bildungsroman of Lucy Pilgrim, an introspective and curious young woman from rural Iowa who becomes an international model to see the world. As Lucy explores the highs and lows of the glamorous life, the the novel considers what female agency, and in particular, female sexual agency, can look like. Lucy’s world has humor and romance, but the novel doesn’t shy from issues such as the lifelong repercussions of sexual abuse. The novel was awarded a finalist position by the American Book Fest’s 2018 Best Books award in the women’s issues category and is a finalist for the Eric Hoffer daVinci Eye award for outstanding cover art. 

    Marianne Maili is a native of Key West, Iowa, a French citizen, and former long-time Spanish resident of Catalonia. She earned her B.A. at the University of Iowa, her Certificat de Langue Française at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, and her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Barcelona.

  • Past Notes: An Anthology of High School Writing

    May 6, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join us for the reading and launch party of Past Notes: An Anthology of High School Writing.

    This year, the Publishing track students at the University of Iowa acquired, read, and edited submissions received from high school students throughout the Iowa City area. Past Notes Anthology is a nostalgic yet fresh collection of nonfiction, fiction and poetry that seeks to inspire, challenge, and celebrate the outstanding writing of Iowa teens. The reading will be followed by a reception in the café. 


    May 5, 2019 - 3:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Prairie Lights celebrates the launch of two new dragon books by celebrated local children’s book stars; Gondra’s Treasure, a picture book illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt, and Dragonfell, a middle grade novel by Sarah Prineas!  Come meet this wonderful illustrator and author, learn how they create their work, and get a signed copy. For the love of dragons, you won’t want to miss it!  All ages are welcome.

    Jennifer Black Reinhardt has illustrated many acclaimed picture books and chapter books—including Yaks Yak and Gondra's Treasure by Linda Sue Park and Sometimes You Fly by Katherine Applegate. She has also written and illustrated several, including Blue Ethel. Jennifer lives with her family in Iowa City, Iowa.

    Sarah Prineas is the author of numerous middle grade and YA fantasy novels including the acclaimed Magic Thiefseries, the Winterling series, the Cinderalla re-telling Ash and Bramble, and The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings, to name a few.  She lives outside Iowa City with her family and animals, and can sometimes be found working in the children’s department at Prairie Lights, helping young readers find the best books to read!  


    May 4, 2019 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Each year, the University of Iowa’s Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing publishes a select group of winning submissions for the Iowa Chapbook Prize. The Iowa Chapbook Prize is dedicated to capturing emerging voices among undergraduates currently enrolled in colleges or universities in the state of Iowa. Submissions are read, chosen, edited, and designed by the University of Iowa's own undergraduate students enrolled in WRIT:3000 Publishing Practicum. During the prize's production period, student-editors seek original work in any literary genre that is adventurous in form and content, precise in its language usage, effective in its ability to elicit emotional and intellectual investment from readers, purposeful in its presentation of characters and narration, and inclusive of underrepresented/marginalized voices. Through their selections, the editors aim to share work that brings new voices to the ever-expanding landscape of contemporary literature. Free copies of the winning manuscripts will be available while supplies last. A reception will follow in the café at 6pm.


    May 3, 2019 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    The Department of Spanish & Portuguese proudly presents the Spanish Creative Writing MFA Graduation Reading. José Covo, Elisa Ferrer Molina, Inés Gallo de UriosteNatalia Hernández, Mariana Mazer and Angela Pico Pinto will share work from their theses. This event will be entirely in Spanish. Reception to follow in Prairie Lights Cafe. Please join us!


    May 2, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Leslie Carol Roberts will read from her new essay collection, Here is Where I Walk: Episodes From a Life in the Forest. “A series of absorbing, funny, tragic, and deeply present ruminations…Packed with a scientist’s curiosity and an artist’s imagination, she uses her walks the way Thoreau encouraged us to treat every journey into nature: as a lesson in how to accept, relish, and even seek out change.”—John D’Agata

    Leslie Carol Roberts is also the author of The Entire Earth and Sky: Views on Antarctica.  She is professor and chair of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California.


    May 1, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City poets Chad Abushanab and Kam Hilliard will read from their recent poetry collections.

    Chad Abushanab is the author of The Last Visitwinner of the 2018 Donald Justice Poetry Prize. Jericho Brown praised “the speaker’s search for self and struggles with drink after surviving a childhood laden with domestic violence… I really do believe in this book and find it extraordinary as an early twenty-first century debut. ” Abushanab’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Believer, Best New Poets, Ecotone, Southern Poetry Review, and 32 Poems, among others. He earned his PhD in literature and creative writing at Texas Tech University. He is an associate editor at Iron Horse Literary Review. 

    Writers’ Workshop student Kam Hilliard will read from Henceforce. Of their work, Ploughshares wrote: “Hilliard is preparing for their future—and preparing us to face ours—with their saints of the past and saints of the present leading the way.” Hilliard’s work has appeared in West Branch, Salt Hill, Entropy, and elsewhere. They currently serve as a poetry editor for Jellyfish Magazine, and are a member of the Big Lucks chapbook editorial squad. They studied at Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.