April 5, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    MISSION CREEK FESTIVAL presents Writers of Color

    Join Andre Perry and Jade Jones as they present Writers of Color, a reading series featuring undergraduate and graduate writers of color at the University of Iowa.  Benjamin Krusling, Regina Porter, Yvonne Cha, Tameka Cage Conley & Melissa Mogollon will read from their work.



    April 4, 2017 - 6:00pm

    Iowa City Public Library

    What’s the Matter With Kansas author Thomas Frank will talk about his newest book, Listen, Liberal at the Iowa City Public Library. Hailed as “the most prescient book” of the year, Listen, Liberal accurately described what ailed the Democratic Party even before the election of 2016 made their weaknesses obvious. It is the story of how the “Party of the People” detached itself from its historic constituency among average Americans and chose instead to line up with the winners of our new economic order.

    Thomas Frank is the author of Pity the Billionaire, The Wrecking Crew, and What’s the Matter with Kansas? A former columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Harper’s, Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler and writes regularly for Salon. He lives outside Washington, D.C. This event is co-sponsored by the Iowa City Public Library, Johnson County Democratic Party, Iowa City Federation of Labor, UI Public Policy Center and Prairie Lights.


    April 4, 2017 - 6:00pm

    Hancher Auditorium


    Short story writer Kelly Link invites readers into the slipstream with stories of the fantastic. Link has collected a Hugo Award, three Nebula Awards, and a World Fantasy Award. Her most recent collection, Get In Trouble, was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize. She is also the author of Magic for Beginners, Pretty Monsters, and Strange Things Happen. Step into the wondrous with one of today’s most thrilling spinners of tales…



    April 4, 2017 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights


    Pulitzer Prize finalist Kelly Link will talk with Fail Safe host Rachel Yoder about writing, creativity, and failure for a live recording of the podcast. Kelly Link has received a Hugo Award, three Nebula Awards, and a World Fantasy Award. Her most recent collection, Get In Trouble, was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.


    March 29, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduates Daniel Poppick, Adrienne Raphel, and Chris Martin will read from their new poetry.

    Daniel Poppick will read from his new book from Omnidawn, The Police. Daniel Poppick's work has been recognized with fellowships fromYaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he earned his MFA in 2011. A graduate of Kenyon College, he has taught writing and literature at SUNY Purchase College, Coe College,Victoria University (New Zealand), and the University of Iowa. He lives in Brooklyn, where he co-edits the Catenary Press. “As distance collapses into shareable moments, he questions how we can sustain intimacy when we cease distinguishing our somatic experiences from our avatars; how to disrupt when disruption itself is privatized; how to connect when connection itself is privatized? Each poem reads like exquisite comment streams of the mind. Poppick writes with beauty, wit, and compassion.” —Cathy Park Hong

    Adrienne Raphel is the author of What Was It For, selected by Cathy Park Hong as winner of the Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize; and the chapbook But What Will We Do, selected by Robyn Schiff as winner of the Seattle Review Chapbook Contest. She is a regular contributor for the New Yorker online, the Paris Review Daily, the Poetry Foundation, the Atlantic online, Lana Turner Journal, Prelude, and Poetry Northwest. Raphel is a PhD candidate in English at Harvard University, where she studies poetics.

    Chris Martin is the author of The Falling Down Dance, Becoming Weather, and American Music, selected by C. D. Wright for the Hayden Carruth Award. He is the author of chapbooks including HISTORY, enough, and How to Write a Mistake-ist Poem. He is an editor at Futurepoem books is a co-founder and teaching-writer at Unrestricted Interest. He lives in Minneapolis.



    March 28, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Jack Hatch will read from No Surrender: Building a Progressive Agenda for Iowa. In an era of endless social media carping, the notion of why public service matters may seem quaint or even naive to some. This book is about why, for progressive Democrats, nothing could be further from the truth.  

    Jack Hatch, a longtime political activist in the state of Iowa, graduated from Drake University with a bachelor's degree and a Masters of Public Administration degree. He served 22 years in the Iowa legislature, chaired a White House Task Force of State Legislators for Health Care Reform, and was the Democratic candidate for governor in 2014.

    "Jack Hatch provides a thought-provoking and challenging look into Iowa's future. His is a call for progressive action. He pulls no punches in calling for a new direction and approach for the Democratic Party if its leaders are to become Iowa's leaders. A "must read" for anyone considering a run for higher office." —Former Governor of Iowa Tom Vilsack


    March 27, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program presents alumna Elena Passarello, who will read from Animals Strike Curious Poses. “In Animals Strike Curious Poses Elena Passarello spins fantastic, wondrous, and true tall tales about species big and small. Her essays are dream-spaces of imagery and ideas…. This book will leave little doubt that Passarello is one our country’s most gifted young prose writers."—Héctor Tobar

    Elena Passarello is an actor, a writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award. Her first collection with Sarabande Books, Let Me Clear My Throat, won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards and was a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award. Her essays on performance, pop culture, and the natural world have been published in Oxford American, Slate, Creative Nonfiction, and The Iowa Review, among other publications, as well as in the 2015 anthologies Cat is Art Spelled Wrong and After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essay. Passarello lives in Corvallis, Oregon and teaches at Oregon State University.


    March 24, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Josh Barkan will read from Mexico: Stories. Author Steve Almond says, “Mexico is a marvel. Josh Barkan has created a suite of stories that are beautiful and harrowing, wise and comic. His heroes, mostly American ex-pats who have headed South to reinvigorate their lives, are continually cast into danger, and forced to reckon with the darkness that lives around them, and within them.” Barkan is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and has taught writing at Harvard, Boston University, and New York University. With his wife, a painter from Mexico, he divides his time between Mexico City and Roanoke, Virginia.

    “What an unsettling, thrilling experience it is being dropped into the middle of Barkan’s Mexico. It is fraught, surreal, off-kilter, and very funny.”—Paul Harding


    March 23, 2017 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Whip Smart author Melissa Febos will read from her new memoir, Abandon Me, in a special event co-sponsored by The Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. In her dazzling Abandon Me, Febos captures the intense bonds of love and the need for connection—with family, lovers, and oneself. At once a fearlessly vulnerable memoir and an incisive investigation of art, love, and identity, Abandon Me draws on childhood stories, religion, psychology, mythology, popular culture, and the intimacies of one writer's life to reveal intellectual and emotional truths that feel startlingly universal. Portions from Abandon Me have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, StoryQuarterly, and the Center for Women Writers, and twice earned notice in the 2015 Best American Essays anthology. Febos serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and is an assistant professor of creative writing at Monmouth University and on the M.F.A. faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She lives in Brooklyn.

    “I have never read anything like Melissa Febos's Abandon Me. It's rare to read a book as generous as it is genius. Febos weaves familial stories, feminist stories, communal stories, literary stories, and love stories, all at once revealing much of where she's been and where we, her readers, might go if we dare. I don't know that I've ever felt more thankful to read a book.” —Kiese Laymon


    March 23, 2017 - 5:30pm

    Prairie Lights

    Award-winning Book of Aron author Jim Shepard will read from his much anticipated new short story collection, The World to Come. “Without a doubt the most ambitious story writer in America," according to The Daily Beast, Shepard’s new collection spans borders and centuries with unrivaled mastery.

    Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels, most recently The Book of Aron, which won the Sophie Brody Medal for Achievement in Jewish Literature from the American Library Association and the PEN/New England Award for fiction, and five story collections. Shepard’s short stories have been chosen for the Best American Short Stories, the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and a Pushcart Prize. He teaches at Williams College.

    "Like Alice Munro, Shepard has a knack for compressing a novel’s worth of life into thirty or forty pages. . . . It all adds up to a peculiar yet arresting vision, as Shepard lets you see a startling variety of dangers and conundrums through the eyes of characters who, poignantly or even despairingly, can’t quite summon the humanity that’s hidden away in them.”—Michael Upchurch, The Boston Globe