• Brandon Taylor

    June 7, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join us with Booker Prize finalist and widely acclaimed author of Real Life and Filthy Animals  Brandon Taylor, who will read from his new book, The Late Americans. In the shared and private spaces of Iowa City, a loose circle of lovers and friends encounter, confront, and provoke one another in a volatile year of self-discovery. Among them are Seamus, a frustrated young poet; Ivan, a dancer turned aspiring banker who dabbles in amateur pornography; Fatima, whose independence and work ethic complicate her relationships with friends and a trusted mentor; and Noah, who “didn’t seek sex out so much as it came up to him like an anxious dog in need of affection.” These four are buffeted by a cast of artists, landlords, meatpacking workers, and mathematicians who populate the cafes, classrooms, and food-service kitchens of the city, sometimes to violent and electrifying consequence.

    Brandon Taylor is the author of the novel Real Life, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, and named a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and a Science + Literature Selected Title by the National Book Foundation. His collection Filthy Animals, a national bestseller, was awarded The Story Prize and shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. He is the 2022-2023 Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

  • Luis Alberto Urrea

    June 3, 2023 - 6:30pm

    The Tuesday Agency 404 East College Street, Suite 408

    Join us at 6:30 in the Tuesday Agency office in the Chauncey Building to hear Luis Albert Urrea talk about his new novel based on his mother's service in WWII, Good Night, Irene.  Good Night, Irene isn’t just a marvelous novel, though it is indeed marvelous. It’s a marvelous novel that returns the brave Donut Dollies and the WWII Clubmobile Corps to their rightful place in history. With grace and compassion, Luis Alberto Urrea makes their story soar again.”  —Ann Hood

    A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his landmark work of nonfiction The Devil's Highway, now in its thirty-fourth paperback printing, Luis Alberto Urrea is the author of numerous other works of nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, including the national bestsellers The Hummingbird's Daughter and The House of Broken Angels, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. A recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, among many other honors, he lives outside Chicago and teaches at the University of Illinois Chicago.

  • Jane Wong in conversation with Kaveh Akbar

    June 2, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers' Workshop alum Jane Wong will read from her new memoir, Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City. "Jane Wong, with her poet’s eye for precise and delightful detail, carves out a quintessential story of family, gambling, loss, heartaches, toothaches, and above all, love. Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City takes a father’s addiction to the prismatic casinos of Atlantic City and places it against a mother’s fierce, unsparing devotion and a daughter’s struggle to make sense of loss.”― Sally Wen Mao
    Jane Wong is the author of the poetry collections How to Not Be Afraid of Everything and Overpour. An associate professor of creative writing at Western Washington University, she grew up in New Jersey and currently lives in Seattle, Washington.
    Wong will be joined in conversation by poet Kaveh Akbar.  Akbar is the author of the poetry collections: Pilgrim Bell and Calling a Wolf a Wolf, the chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic, and he was the editor of The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse: 100 Poets on the Divine.  He teaches at the University of Iowa and currently serves as Poetry Editor of The Nation.

  • Jeff Biggers

    May 30, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City author Jeff Biggers will read from his new book, In Sardinia: An Unexpected Journey in Italy. "At last, a grand companion to the mysterious and enchanting island of Sardinia. Known to most travelers for its beaches, Sardinia's complex archeological heritage extends back to Neolithic times. Jeff Biggers, the consummate traveler/ scholar, starts in beautiful Alghero and begins exploring the entire island, delving into the rich traditions of music, arts, dialects, crafts, and literature. Along the way, he and his family revel in local lore, festivals, food, and wine. Written with verve and love, In Sardinia is the book I'll be taking on future trips." --Frances Mayes

    Jeff Biggers is an American Book Award-winning historian, journalist and playwright. Based part-time in Italy since 1989, he is the author of ten books of cultural history and investigative reporting, his work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly,, and on National Public Radio and Public Radio International.

  • Bart Yates

    May 23, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City author Bart Yates will read from his new novel, The Language of Love and Loss. When his difficult mother is diagnosed with ALS, a sharp-witted yet sensitive artist named Noah York reluctantly returns to his New Hampshire hometown - and all the ghosts he left behind. Fans of Andrew Sean Greer, Jonathan Tropper, and Armistead Maupin will adore this outrageously funny, deeply touching, buoyant new novel.

    Bart Yates is the Alex Award-winning author of novels including Leave Myself Behind, The Brothers Bishop, and The Third Hill North of Town, written as Noah Bly. He is also a musician, and plays clarinet, saxophone, and bass guitar. He lives in Iowa City.

  • Blythe Roberson

    May 22, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Comedian Blythe Roberson will read from her feminist travelogue, America the Beautiful?: One Woman in a Borrowed Prius on the Road Most Traveled. "America the Beautiful? is so funny and special and illuminating that it makes even me, a person who cannot tolerate trees or weather, wish I could've tagged along in the back seat." -- Samantha Irby

    Blythe Roberson is a comedian, a humor writer, and author of How to Date Men When You Hate Men. She has written for The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, Kinfolk, Esquire, Vice Magazine, and for the NPR quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Blythe was raised between Illinois and Wisconsin and currently lives in Brooklyn.


  • Ruta Sepetys at the Iowa City Public Library

    May 19, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Iowa City Public Library -Meeting rooms A,B,C

    Join Prairie Lights Books and ICPL as we welcome Ruta Sepetys, award winning young adult author as she promotes her new book on the craft of writing, You: The Story - An Evening with Ruta Sepetys!  Peer through the lens of memory and discuss creative writing with #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ruta Sepetys. This powerful how-to book for aspiring writers (teens and adults!) encourages you to look inward and excavate your own memories in order to discover the authentic voices and compelling details that are waiting to be put on the page.

    Sepetys will talk about the new book and discuss her approach to her novels. Presentation followed by a Q & A and book signing. Books will be for sale at the event, and the first 50 copies sold of YOU: The Story will come with a complimentary custom writing journal.
    Ruta Sepetys is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. Previous books include, Between Shades of Gray, I Must Betray You, Salt to the Sea, and more. Please join us!

  • Chris Jones

    May 19, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City author and blogger Chris Jones, will read from his new book published by Ice Cube Press, The Swine Republic: Struggles with the Truth about Agriculture and Water Quality. "The Swine Republic‘s fact-filled essays shine a clear, revealing light on Big Ag’s many dirty water secrets, baloney-filled soil conservation programs, and the well-funded political muscle that keeps all in place both in Iowa and in the U.S. His inarguable numbers, keen eye, and hacksaw wit make you stand up and shout, ‘Let’s change this!'”—Alan Guebert

    Chris Jones is a Research Engineer with IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa.  Previous jobs include the Des Moines Water Works and the Iowa Soybean Association. As an avid outdoorsman, he enjoys fishing, bird watching, gardening, and mushroom hunting in both Iowa and Wisconsin.

  • Chloe Angyal in conversation with Katie Runde

    May 16, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Turning Pointe author Chloe Angyal will read from her new rom-com set in the ballet industry, Pas de Don't.  "Pas de Don't sizzles with sexual chemistry between the two leads. It's a kind and grown-up love story between two passionate and ambitious people. Angyal rips the glamorous facade off the world of ballet and exposes the heart and artistry of those who dance. A truly original take on a slow-burn workplace romance." -- Andie J. Christopher

    Chloe Angyal is the author of Turning Pointe: How a New Generation of Dancers Is Saving Ballet From Itself, which was the result of years of reporting on gender and power in American ballet. Her writing about ballet has appeared in Jezebel and the Washington Post, and has been quoted in the New York Times. Pas de Don't is her first novel. She holds a BA from Princeton and a PhD in arts and media from the University of New South Wales. She lives in Coralville. 

    Katie Runde is the author of the novel The Shore, coming in paperback May 30th! She lives in Iowa City.

  • Marissa Moss in conversation with Lyz Lenz

    May 9, 2023 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Award-winning journalist Marissa Moss will read from and talk about Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Busted Up the Old Boys Club. "Moss traces the history of Guyton's, Musgraves' and Maren Morris' career against the larger dynamic that has defined women in country music...[This] is also a story of American politics, Moss argues. It shows how the battle for the soul of country music (and the dollar signs that come with it) mirrors a larger culture war in U.S. politics." --The 19th

    Marissa R. Moss has written about the topic of gender inequality on the country airwaves for outlets like Rolling Stone, NPR, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, and many more. Moss was the 2018 recipient of the Rolling Stone Chet Flippo Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism, and the 2019 Nashville Scene Best of Nashville Best Music Reporter. She has been a guest on The TODAY Show, Entertainment Tonight, CBS Morning Show, NPR's Weekend Edition, WPLN, the Pop Literacy Podcast, and more.  Moss will be joined in conversation by Iowa author and journalist, Lyz Lez, author of Godland and Belabored. Lenz has been widely published in places including The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, Pacific Standard, and Huffington Post.