• wellRED: From Dixie With Love

    October 11, 2017 - 7:00pm

    The Englert Theatre

    Iowa City Book Festival Event

    Tickets available through The Englert Theater. 
    Englert Theater Box Office

    Stand-up comedy and writing partners Trae Crowder (The Liberal Redneck), Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester, will talk about their best-selling book, Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin’ Dixie Outta the Dark. This year’s tour, “wellRED: From Dixie With Love​,” is about celebrating everything great about the South and telling stories from a place of love. It’s about dancing to country music at a gay wedding. It’s about loving your neighbor whether you have the same religion, skin color, or sexual preference, as long as they cheer for the same college football team (Go Vols!).  It is about leaving behind bigotry, but remembering the fried okra.

    Trae Crowder grew up in rural Tennessee and has been writing and performing comedy for six years while also working for the federal government. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college and earn an MBA. After his “Liberal Redneck” videos went viral, he appeared on a number of television and radio shows. He lives in East Tennessee with his wife and two young sons.

    Corey Ryan Forrester has been writing and performing stand-up comedy since he was sixteen and hails from North Georgia. He helped his mother and sister run their family bakery in his hometown of Chickamauga while hawking jokes at night in dingy bars and has an affinity for Southern wit and storytelling.

    Drew Morgan is a stand-up comedian, writer, and husband from rural East Tennessee. He draws on his experiences as a small-town son of a preacher man and former public defender to weave together stories with jokes and observations on culture, religion, and identity. He splits time between New York City and Knoxville, Tennessee, with his wife Andi and dog Mick Jagger Pup. 

    Prairie Lights will have books for sale at the event. 



  • Holy Cow! Press Anniversary Reading

    October 11, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City Book Festival Event

    Celebrating 40 years of the Duluth-by-way-of-Iowa City independent press, featuring founder and publisher Jim Perlman, and authors Dan Campion, Crystal Spring Gibbins, and Gary Boelhower. 

    Dan Campion is the author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism (Bucknell University Press), coeditor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song (Holy Cow! Press), and a contributor of poetry to many magazines, including Light, Measure, The Midwest Quarterly, The North American Review, Poetry, Rolling Stone, and Shenandoah.

    Crystal Spring Gibbins grew up on Lake of the Woods, Minnesota/Ontario. She is the editor of Split Rock Review and the recipient of fellowships from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She lives on the south shore of Lake Superior.

    Gary Boelhower is the author of Marrow, Muscle, Flight: Poems, which won the Midwest Book Award for poetry.


  • LISA KATZ & HILARY KAPLAN in conversation with ARON AJI

    October 11, 2017 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City Book Festival Event 

    Award-winning translators Lisa Katz and Hilary Kaplan will read from their work and participate in a panel conversation moderated by Aron Aji, director of the Iowa Translation Workshop. They will consider questions that are relevant to literature in translation such as, how do we listen to literary voices that belong to cultures that are remote from us? How does literature transport ‘difference’ across cultural borders, to readers who do not share the same cultural experiences that animate a given literary work? This panel is part of the 50th Anniversary of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP).

    Lisa Katz serves as co-editor of the Israeli pages of the Poetry International Web (PIW) project for world poetry in translation. Her translations include Late Beauty: The Poetry of Tuvia Ruebner and Suddenly the Sight of War by Hannan Hever. She is the author of two chapbooks and a book of poetry, Am Oved. She lives in Jerusalem.

    Hilary Kaplan is the translator of Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas, winner of the 2016 Best Translated Book Award in poetry and shortlisted for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation; and Ghosts, a collection of stories by Paloma Vidal. Her translations of Brazilian poetry and prose have appeared on BBC Radio 4 and in journals internationally. She received a 2011 PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant and a Rumos Literatura grant for literary criticism from Itaú Cultural. Her writing on Brazilian poetry and poetics has been published in Jacket2, Rascunho, and the collection Deslocamentos Críticos (Babel, 2011).


    October 11, 2017 - 3:30pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City Book Festival Event

    Fail Safe Podcast host Rachel Yoder will talk with Award Winning author and Writers’ Workshop graduate Alexander Chee in this special Iowa City Book Festival event. Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. Produced collaboratively by draft: the journal of process and The Iowa Writers’ House, The Fail Safe provides encouragement for anyone who’s ever wanted to write and pulls back the curtain on the creative process for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the writer-at-work.


    October 10, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City Book Festival Event

    Pola Oloixarac from Argentina and Alberto Fuguet from Chile will read from and discuss their work. This reading is part of the 50th Anniversary of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP).

    Pola Oloixarac is a fiction writer and essayist. Her novels, Savage Theories and Dark Constellations, have been translated into seven languages. The New York Times Book Review called Savage Theories “[an] exuberant blend of political satire and sexual picaresque. This book rewards total immersion: Come for the inevitable Borges allusions, stay for the wild ride." She wrote the libretto for the opera Hercules in Mato Grosso, which debuted at Buenos Aires’s Teatro Colón and then premiered in New York City. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, n+1 and The White Review, and she has contributed articles on politics and culture for The New York Times and the BBC World Service, among others. She lives in San Francisco, where she’s completing a PhD at Stanford University.

    Born in Santiago de Chile, Alberto Fuguet is one of the leaders of the literary movement known as McOndo, which proclaims the end of magical realism. Time Magazine named Alberto Fuguet one of the 50 most important Latin American writers for the new millennium. He has been a film critic and director, and a police reporter. He lives in Santiago de Chile.



    October 9, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City Book Festival Event

    Acclaimed writer and critic Tim Parks will talk about his work in this special IWP 50th Anniversary Reading. Parks is the author of many novels, translations, and works of nonfiction, including Where I'm Reading From, Italian Ways, Life and Work: Writers, Readers, and the Conversations Between Them, and the novel In Extremis. Of his work, Publishers Weekly has written, "Parks is one of the most eloquent and provocative critics," and the Sunday Times called him "a hugely talented writer, who deserves to be a good deal more celebrated than he is."

    Tim Parks is Associate Professor of Literature and Translation at IULM University in Milan. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, for which he blogs.


    October 8, 2017 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Sharlene Teo (fiction writer; Singapore) won the Deborah Rogers Writer’s Award for her debut novel Ponti, to be released in 2018 and translated into six languages. She is a PhD student in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she received the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship and the David TK Wong Fellowship. She participates courtesy of the Singapore National Arts Council. 

    Matjaž Pikalo (poet, screenwriter, musician, multimedia artist; Slovenia) has five books of poetry and many works for children. Luža [Puddle] won the 2002 Večernica Award for Best Book for Young Readers, and was honored by the IBBY Congress in Cape Town; in 2004 the children’s book Think Good and Wise won him Italy’s Arte Senza Confine award. The Second Ivan’s Death, a documentary about Slovenia’s key writer Ivan Cankar, based on his screenplay, is in production. He plays with the band Autodafé, and on an artist soccer team. His participation is made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana and the University of Iowa. 

    Tameka Cage Conley, PhD is a literary artist who writes fiction, poetry, plays and essays. She received a doctoral degree in English in 2006 from Louisiana State University, where she was a recipient of the Huel Perkins Doctoral Fellowship. Her dissertation, “Painful Discourses,” was awarded the annual Lewis Simpson Distinguished Dissertation Award. She has received writing fellowships from the Cave Canem Poetry Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Squaw Valley Writers Conference and Workshops. In October 2013, she received the Eben Demarest Trust grant, awarded annually to an artist or archaeologist. Past recipients of the Demarest include painter James Pollock (1945) and choreographer Kyle Abraham (2012). She held a Truman Capote fellowship in Fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop from 2016-17 and is currently a Graduate Fellow in the program. A Gathering of Sons, the opera for which she wrote the libretto, commissioned by Pittsburgh Festival Opera, recently had its world premiere and was met with acclaim.



    October 5, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Lucy Ives will read from her debut novel Impossible Views of the World. A curator at Manhattan’s renowned Central Museum of Art encounters a mysterious map of a 19th century utopian settlement, which sends her on an all-consuming research mission that charts a course out of the chaos of her own life. “[An] intricate, darkly funny debut . . . it’s a smart novel brimming with ideas about love, art, personal agency, a lack thereof.” —The New York Times Book Review

    Lucy Ives is the author of several books of poetry and short prose, including The Hermit and the novella nineties. Her writing has appeared in Artforum, Lapham’s Quarterly, and at For five years she was an editor with the online magazine Triple Canopy. A graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from New York University. She teaches at the Pratt Institute and is currently editing a collection of writings by the artist Madeline Gins.


    October 3, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Mary Jo Bang will read from her new poetry book from Graywolf Press, A Doll for Throwing. These poems follow a speaker who had been part of the Bauhaus school in Germany a century ago and witnessed its collapse at the hand of the Nazis. “Mary Jo Bang bends and tosses ideas as easily as one would a Wurfpuppe, a flexible doll created by Bauhaus artist Alma Siedhoff-Buscher that always landed with grace when thrown.”—The Washington Post. 

    Mary Jo Bang is the author of numerous poetry collections, including The Last Two Seconds; Elegy, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; and an acclaimed translation of Dante’s Inferno. She teaches at Washington University in Saint Louis.

    Edward McPherson will read from his collection of essays, History of the Future. "In The History of the Future, McPherson explores America in all its beauty and strangeness. He is funny and searching—a joy to read."—Elizabeth Kolbert

    Pushcart Prize-winner McPherson is the author of Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat and The Backwash Squeeze and Other Improbable Feats. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Paris Review, Tin House, and the American Scholar. He teaches creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis.



    September 28, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Join editor Harry Stecopoulos as he hosts a reading of prose and poetry from current and forthcoming issues of The Iowa Review. Writers Amber Dermont,
    Hai-Dang Phan, and D.J. Savarese will read. A celebratory reception will conclude the evening.

    Amber Dermont is the New York Times best-selling author of The Starboard Sea and Damage Control. She teaches fiction writing at Rice University and is currently a visiting professor in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

    Hai-Dang Phan is the author of Small Wars, a chapbook of poems (Conclusive Editions, 2016). A graduate of the University of Florida’s MFA program in creative writing, he lives in Des Moines and teaches at Grinnell College.

    D.J. Savarese studied anthropology and creative writing at Oberlin College, where he was a recipient of the William Battrick Poetry Fellowship and an ASAN Scholar Fellow. His poems and lyric essays have appeared in The Iowa Review, Prospect, Seneca Review, Stone Canoe, Wordgathering, and Voices for Diversity and Social Justice: A Literary Education AnthologyFour of his poems can be seen this fall in the ITVS-funded documentary "Deej," which he coproduced and narrated.