April 16, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program graduate and Winner of the New Western Writers Award Joshua Wheeler will read from Acid West: Essays.  "Acid West is a freaky, stylish, heart-cracking-open book about the beautiful and bonkers badlands of the Southwest. Josh Wheeler's essays throb with radioactive resonance and the Technicolor brilliance of a desert sunset. I'm in awe of this book." —Claire Vaye Watkins   Joshua Wheeler is from Alamogordo, New Mexico. His essays have appeared in The Iowa Review, Sonora Review, PANK, and The Missouri Review. He's written feature stories for BuzzFeed and Harper's Magazine online and is a coeditor of the anthology We Might as Well Call It the Lyric Essay. He teaches creative writing at Louisiana State University.


    April 15, 2018 - 3:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City children’s illustrator will talk about her new book with Katherine Applegate, Sometimes You Fly. “This charming and engaging celebration of life is a must-read and a must-have. A natural successor to Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go! that deals with navigating life's ups and downs." —Booklist, starred review

    Jennifer Black Reinhardt has a degree in Illustration from Carnegie Mellon University. She has worked in advertising, and has had her artwork featured on calendars, humor books, needlepoint kits, collector plates, and greeting cards. She is the illustrator of several books for children including The Inventor’s Secret by Suzanne Slade, Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons by Alice B. McGinty, The Adventures of a South Pole Pig written by Chris Kurtz, Yaks Yak by Linda Sue Park, and Blue Ethel, which she wrote. She lives in Iowa City.


    April 11, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Julia Whicker will read from her new dystopian novel, Wonderblood. "Told in rich, dense prose, Whicker's fantasy feels like a blood-steeped dream: there are mummified heads and a religion based on astronauts. The story's voice is vibrant and warm as the Florida heat" —Publishers Weekly

    Julia Whicker has had her poetry published in the Iowa Review, Word Riot, and The Millions, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A version of the first chapter of Wonderblood was published in the literary journal, Unstuck.


    April 10, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Paul Kix will read from his historical biography of WWII spy intrigue, The Saboteur: The Aristocrat Who Became France's Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando.  "Set in motion by a steamed-open letter and a burning hatred of Hitler, a dashing young aristocrat embarks on a campaign of clandestine warfare. The Saboteur sounds like a World War II spy thriller, but in fact it is a rip-roaring true story, wonderfully told by Paul Kix."—Mitchell Zuckoff

    Paul Kix is a deputy editor at ESPN the Magazine. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, GQ, New York, Men's Journal, and the Wall Street Journal. Originally from Hubbard, Iowa, he now lives in Connecticut. The Saboteur has been optioned by Dreamworks.



    April 9, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Professor, poet, and former Iowa Citian Stephen Kuusisto will read from his new memoir, Have Dog, Will Travel.  "Never before has the subtle relationship of a blind person to a guide dog been clarified in such an entertaining way. That Stephen Kuusisto enables us to see the world through his blind eyes as well as through the ‘seeing eyes’ of his dog is this book's amazing, paradoxical achievement."—Billy Collins

    A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and a Fulbright Scholar, Kuusisto has taught at the University of Iowa, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Ohio State University. He currently teaches at Syracuse University where he holds a professorship in the Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies.



    April 7, 2018 - 7:30pm



    Tickets for this performance may be purchased from the Hancher Box Office. Mission Creek passes and tickets for other festival events are available from The Englert Theatre Box Office and at

    From 2011 to 2014, Bassem Youssef hosted the satirical news program Al-Bernameg (The Show) in Egypt, earning a reputation as that country’s Jon Stewart. Named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2013, the physician turned comedian and critic now lives in the United States where he continues to shine a light on global issues with thoughtful, hilarious commentary.Bassem Youssef will sign books following his event. Prairie Lights will be on hand with books for sale.


    April 7, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers from the latest issue of Earthwords, The University of Iowa’s oldest undergraduate literary magazine, will read from their new issue featuring the best in undergraduate fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, photography and art from student writers across campus. Reception to follow in the café.


    April 7, 2018 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Mission Creek Event

    The Mission Creek Festival presents essayists Rachel Arndt and LaTanya McQueen, who will read from their work.

    Rachel Arndt will read from Beyond Measure, her new book published by Sarabande. Rachel Arndt's writing has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Quartz, The Believer, and elsewhere. She received MFAs in nonfiction and poetry from the University of Iowa, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and nonfiction editor of The Iowa Review. She lives in Chicago.

    LaTanya McQueen will read from her forthcoming collection of essays, And it Begins Like This. McQueen’s writing has been published in The Los Angeles Review, Harpur Palate, Indiana Review, Passages North, Carve Magazine, Fugue, Ninth Letter, Bennington Review, North American Review, New Orleans Review, Fourteen Hills, and other journals. She received her MFA from Emerson College and her PhD from the University of Missouri.


    April 7, 2018 - 2:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Mission Creek Event

    Mission Creek presents the Writers of Color Reading Series curated by Kundiman, a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature. The reading will feature the work of former Kundiman fellows Cathy Linh Che, Melody Gee, Helene Achanzar, Stella Wong, Pam Zhang, and Yvonne Cha.


    April 6, 2018 - 3:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Mission Creek Event

    The Mission Creek Festival presents a discussion on representation and the current literary scene, in a special event moderated by Sam Chang. Panel members will include Hafizah Geter for VIDA, William Johnson for Lambda, and Cathy Linh Che from Kundiman. Please come to learn more about these literary groups and join the discussion.