May 19, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Dalia Rosenfeld will read from The Worlds We Think We Know, a collection of short stories called “A profound debut from a writer of great talent” by Adam Johnson. Fiercely funny and entirely original, this debut collection of stories takes readers from the United States to Israel and back again to examine the mystifying reaches of our own minds and hearts. “Flying beyond what we are used to calling ‘conventional realism,’ Rosenfeld points to a shimmering spot just beyond the horizon, and leaves us yearning.”―Cynthia Ozick   

    Dalia Rosenfeld is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her work has appeared in the Atlantic, AGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mississippi Review, and Colorado Review. She has received a grant from the Artist Committee at the Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, and the Mississippi Review Prize. She teaches writing at Bar Ilan University and lives with her three children in Tel Aviv.


    May 18, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Paul’s Book Club will discuss The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz.


    May 17, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    J. Robert Lennon will read from his new novel from Graywolf Press, Broken River.  "Broken River is a novel with multiple identities: it's a ghost story, a crime story, a coming-of-age story, a story about love and family and fiction itself. What is astonishing is how well all these elements work together, how they intertwine as seamlessly as the fates of Lennon's characters. As good as fiction gets."—Ben Winters. This addictively suspenseful novel delivers one of the most innovative narrative devices in modern fiction, and is the #1 Indie Next pick for May!

    J. Robert Lennon is the author of eight novels, including Mailman, Familiar, and Broken River, and the story collections Pieces for the Left Hand and See You in Paradise. He teaches writing at Cornell University.


    May 16, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City author Jerry Harrington will read from Crusading Iowa Journalist Verne Marshall: Exposing Graft and the 1936 Pulitzer Prize. On December 12, 1934, police raided a canning factory in Cedar Rapids, uncovering an illegal liquor and gambling set-up. Verne Marshall, tempestuous editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, sensed a bigger story and a wider network of corruption. His aggressive investigative reporting led to multiple resignations, nearly fifty indictments and the dramatic trial of the state’s attorney general. These explosive exposes earned Verne Marshall and the paper the 1936 Pulitzer Prize. This book traces the legacy of Marshall’s incendiary crusade across Iowa’s political landscape.

    Jerry Harrington is a frequent contributor to Iowa History Journal (IHJ), he recently won the 2016 George Mills-Louise Noun Popular History Award from the Iowa State Historical Society for the IHJ series Iowa Governors of Influence. Harrington recently retired from a career in advertising/public relations and has worked for newspapers in Spencer and Clear Lake, Iowa. He earned degrees from Cornell College in English and political science and a masters’ degree in history from the University of Iowa. He is an avid comic book collector, and has taught  "The History of American Comic Books," at Kirkwood Community College as part of the school's Continuing Education Program.


    May 15, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Decorah author Keith Lesmeister and Minneapolis author Peter Geye will read from their new fiction.

    “The Middlewesterners in Keith Lesmeister's charming collection We Could've Been Happy Here share more in common with Ethan and Joel Coen's Fargo than any of Willa Cather's stalwart pioneers. But these characters and their stories are perfectly authentic, hilarious, and offbeat. This collection is the genuine article.”—Nickolas Butler  Lesmeister’s writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, Gettysburg Review, Harpur Palate, Meridian, Redivider, River Teeth, The Good Men Project, and Tin House Open Bar. He received his M.F.A. from the Bennington Writing Seminars. He teaches at Northeast Iowa Community College.

    Peter Geye will read from Wintering, “A book about love and revenge, families and small towns, history and secrets . . . a deftly layered and beautifully written novel that owes as much to William Faulkner and it does to Jack London.  . . . Wintering is a remarkable portrait of the role that one’s environment—and neighbors—can play in shaping character and destiny.” —Skip Horack  Peter Geye is the author of Safe from the Sea and The Lighthouse Road. He lives in Minneapolis.

    “The last time I read a literary thriller so profound Cormac McCarthy’s name was on its spine. But Peter Geye is his own man and Wintering is as unique and menacingly beautiful as its Minnesota borderlands setting.” —Richard Russo    


    May 12, 2017 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join us in celebrating the achievements of graduating Certificate in Writing students. Select students will read from their Capstone projects from 5-6pm, followed by a reception in the Prairie Lights Café 6-7pm for light refreshments and conversation.


    May 8, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Harriet Levin Millan will read from her new book, How Fast Can You Run: a novel based on the life of Michael Majok Kuch. Five-year-old Majok fled his village when the government in the North of Sudan ordered attacks against the South. Along with thousands of other refugees, Majok trekked through war zones and wilderness to a series of refugee camps where he would live for the next ten years. Michael Majok Kuch attended high school, college and graduate school in Philadelphia. He was a featured Lost Boy of Sudan in the PBS documentary, Dinka Diaries.                 

    Harriet Levin Millan is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. She is the author of two books of poetry and one forthcoming. She's won book awards from Barnard New Women Poets, The Poetry Society of America and the PEW Fellowship in the Arts. Originally excerpted in the Kenyon Review, her debut novel, How Fast Can You Run: a novel based on the life of Michael Majok Kuch, is a 2017 Charter for Compassion Global Read. She teaches Creative Writing at Drexel University and directs the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing at Drexel University.

    “The refugee is the hero of our time... Harriet Levin Millan tells the epic story of a single refugee, the indomitable Michael Majok Kuch, and she gives song to them all.” —Ken Kalfus


    May 6, 2017 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join us for this event hosted through the Magid Center and the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program for the Iowa Chapbook Prize Reading. A reception will follow in the café.


    May 5, 2017 - 6:30pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join Prairie Lights and Director of the Undergraduate Nonfiction Writing Program Bonnie Sunstein in celebrating the semi-annual Writers Gone Public reading. The event from 6:30 to 8:15 pm will feature current undergraduate students who study with MFA Nonfiction faculty, reading excerpts from essays they have written this semester.



    May 3, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Jennifer Croft will read from her new translation of August, by Romina Paula, published by Feminist Press. Romina Paula is one of the most interesting figures under forty currently active on the Argentine literary scene: a playwright, novelist, director, and actor. Her two novels to date (Vos me queres a mi? and Agosto) have enjoyed extraordinary popularity and critical acclaim. The plays she has written and directed (including El tiempo todo entero, based on The Glass Menagerie, and Fauna) have been positively reviewed in every major publication in Argentina. Translator Jennifer Croft is the recipient of Fulbright, PEN, and NEA grants, as well as the Michael Henry Heim Prize. Her translations from Polish, Spanish, and Ukrainian have appeared in The New York Times, n+1, Electric Literature, BOMB, Guernica, and The New Republic. She holds a PhD from Northwestern and an MFA from the UI. She is a founding editor of The Buenos Aires Review.