March 15, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Veterinarian Jennifer Doll will read from her new memoir, Raccoons Stole My Baby Jesus. Jennifer Doll, DVM, is the Medical Director for Iowa Humane Alliance, where she works as a veterinarian, spaying and neutering 30 to 55 cats, dogs, rabbits, rats, pot-bellied pigs, and guinea pigs a day.

    Dr. Doll is a volunteer veterinarian for Witty Kitties Inc. and Animals All About Inc., where she takes in almost every animal that no one else will, expecting to get nothing (including appreciation) in return. After 26 years in practice, the last 19 in Iowa, Dr. Doll has met and wrangled her share of Feral Cats, Black Bears, Cougars, Giant Pythons, and Crocodilians. She lives in Solon, Iowa.

    “I loved it . . . In a delightful tell-it-like-it-is-way, Dr. Doll faces major ethical questions.  What is natural for an animal? . . .  Often she has to rely on her ‘gut’ intuitive instinct to be the tie breaker.” —Temple Grandin


    March 2, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    University of Iowa’s English Society presents the Iowa Writers’ Showcase, a literary reading and fundraiser for the Iowa Youth Writing Project! The IYWP is a brilliant nonprofit organization that provides free writing workshops and literacy events for K-12 students throughout the Iowa City area and beyond. The Showcase will feature distinguished writers Lauren Haldeman, Daniel Khalastchi, Robyn Schiff, Angela Tharpe, and Inara Verzemnieks. Free-will donations to the IYWP will enter attendees into a raffle for one $20 and one $50 Prairie Lights gift card; the larger the donation, the more entries to win. Come show your support for the literary community!


    March 1, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Former University of Iowa English Department Faculty Douglas Trevor will read from his short story collection The Book of Wonders. "The Book of Wonders is lovely, and, yes, wondrous. With one foot in contemporary life and another in the land of myth and fable, Douglas Trevor is a unique and memorable conjurer."
    —Dan Chaon

    Trevor is the author of the short story collection The Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space (winner of the 2005 Iowa Short Fiction Award and a finalist for the 2006 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction), and the novel Girls I Know. His short stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Solos, The Iowa Review, and New Letters. He teaches creative writing and is the current Director of the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan.  He lives in Ann Arbor.


    February 28, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program faculty member Patricia Foster will read from her latest novel, Girl from Soldier Creek.  “Girl from Soldier Creek is an essential and quintessential American story, as Katherine Soldier, known as Jit, struggles to leave behind the territory of its title— a humid, fecund terrain, a problematic family and its tangle of love, resentment and entrapment.  Jit is brought to life in prose as fluid as the element she swims in, navigating the myriad failures of love and the complicated bonds of sisterhood.” —Janet Burroway

    Foster is the author of All the Lost GirlsJust Beneath My Skin, and the editor of four anthologies, most recently Understanding the Essay (co-edited with Jeff Porter). She is the recipient of a Dean’s Scholar Award, a Yaddo Fellowship, a Florida Arts Council Award, an Iowa Arts & Humanities Award, and has published over fifty essays and stories in Ploughshares, The Sun,Virginia Quarterly Review and other quarterlies.  She is a professor in the MFA Program in Nonfiction at UIowa and has taught in France, Australia, Italy, Czech Republic, and Spain.


    February 27, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join Paul and fellow book-lovers for a discussion of Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan. 


    February 23, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduates Kiki Petrosino and Kaethe Schwehn will read from their new books.

    Kiki Petrosino will read from Witch Wife. The poems of Witch Wife are spells, obsessive incantations to exorcise or celebrate memory, to mourn the beloved dead, to conjure children or keep them at bay, to faithfully inhabit one's given body. Petrosino questions what it means to be a wife or mother who feels ambivalent about motherhood and how these roles are further complicated for women of color in the United States. "Petrosino delights in unsettling the familiar with startling results, whether channeling Anne Sexton or William Blake."
    —Harryette Mullin

    Petrosino is also the author of Hymn for the Black Terrific and Fort Red Border. She is founder and co-editor of the poetry journal Transom, and she directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Louisville.

    Kaethe Schwehn will read from The Rending and the Nest, her chilling yet redemptive post-apocalyptic debut that examines community, motherhood, faith, and the importance of telling one's own story.  "Surreal and precise, sharp and moving, this novel joins the ranks of other genius post-apocalyptic works like Oryx and Crake and Station Eleven. Read it and marvel." —Sharma Shields

    Kaethe Schwehn is the author of Tailings: A Memoir, and the chapbook of poems, Tanka & Me. She teaches at St. Olaf College and lives in Northfield, Minnesota.


    February 22, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Tom Miller will read from The Philosopher’s Flight, an epic historical fantasy set in a World-War-I-era America where magic and science have blended into a single extraordinary art. "Miller’s imaginative debut reads like an American cousin to Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, filtering 19th and 20th century U.S. . . . [T]he history of this alternate world and its magic tech are inventively executed."
    —Publishers Weekly

    Tom Miller has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame and an MD from the University of Pittsburgh. While writing The Philosopher’s Flight, he worked as a travel guide writer, EMT, and college English instructor. He's now an emergency room doctor in Madison, Wisconsin.


    February 21, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Colin Winnette will read from his new novel published by Soft Skull Press, The Job of the Wasp.The Job of the Wasp is wonderfully creepy and peculiar. A sort of gothic rendition of Lord of the Flies. Colin Winnette is an enviable, natural talent, and to read him is a pure entertainment.” ―Patrick deWitt

    Winnette is the author of Haints Stay, Coyote, Fondly, Animal Collection, and Revelation. His writing has appeared in The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books,  Lucky Peach, and Playboy. He lives in San Francisco.

    “A witty and grisly gothic unlike anything I’ve ever read. You should absolutely read this.” —Kelly Link



    February 20, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Jeff Biggers will read from The Trials of a Scold: The Incredible True Story of Writer Anne Royall, semi-finalist for the 2018 PEN/Bograd Weld Prize for Biography. "Trials of a Scold is a fascinating account of a woman who defied nineteenth-century societal constraints to attain national prominence and power as a muckraking journalist. But there is much more to her life and to her story, and in Jeff Biggers’ capable hands she is fully realized. Trials of a Scold does what only the best biographies do: blend meticulous research into a narrative that reads like a novel." —Ron Rash

    Jeff Biggers is an American Book Award-winning journalist, cultural historian and playwright. He is the author of numerous books including Reckoning at Eagle Creek, and and his stories have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and on NPR. He is a regulator contributor to Al Jazeera America, Huffington Post, and Salon. He splits his time between Iowa City and Italy.


    February 17, 2018 - 2:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Jocelyn Cullity will read from her novel, Amah and the Silk Winged Pigeons. Jocelyn Cullity's English family lived in India for five generations. When she was fourteen, she transcribed her great-great-great aunt's diary about being held hostage for five months during the 1857 "Indian Mutiny" in the city of Lucknow. Based on a true story of colonial events in Lucknow, Cullity's debut novel, Amah and the Silk-Winged Pigeons, illustrates for the first time the lost history of the Afro-Indian, Muslim women who fought against the English hoping to save the city they loved.

    Cullity’s writing has appeared in The Writer's Chronicle, Blackbird, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Minerva Rising.  She teaches Creative Writing at Truman State University, and lives in Columbia, Missouri. This event is co-sponsored by the UI South Asian Studies Program.