Live From Prairie Lights

"Live from Prairie Lights” is an internationally known readings series, which features some of the best up-and-coming and well-established authors & poets from all over the globe. Presented before a live audience and streamed over the world wide web, this long running series brings the spoken word from the bookstore to the masses. Most readings begin @ 7:00 p.m. Arrive early to assure yourself a seat.

The Writing University live streams many of our readings here.
The Live from Prairie Lights audio archive is available here.
Iowa City PATV has a video archive of readings located here.
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  • DEEDIE RUNKEL

    July 18, 2018 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    B&B owner Deedie Runkel will read from Scone By Scone: Tales from an Innkeeper’s Life.  “The stories about an Innkeeper’s life are hilarious and heartfelt. The characters are unforgettable, the recipes delectable. But it’s Runkel’s flair for treating life as a delicious challenge, and for treating the most outrageous guest with grace, that make this book such a rich meal.” —Lisa Loomer

    Runkel majored in English at Penn State, where she met her husband when they both wrote for The Daily Collegian. Just recently, she earned her Master’s degree in Fine Arts in writing from UC/Riverside. She is the author of the autobiography Boxes: Lifting the Lid on an American Life, and her opinion pieces and articles have appeared in The Philadelphia Bulletin, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Friends Journal, and other publications. She and her husband run Anne Hathaway's Bed & Breakfast in Ashland Oregon, home of the world-class Oregon Shakespeare Festival, to which hundreds of thousands of people come each year, February through June.

  • THOMAS FRANK

    July 18, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    What’s the Matter With Kansas and Listen, Liberal author and journalist Thomas Frank will read from his new book, Rendezvous With Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society.

    What does a middle-class democracy look like when it comes apart? When, after forty years of economic triumph, America’s winners persuade themselves that they owe nothing to the rest of the country.  For those who despair of the future of our country and of reason itself, Rendezvous with Oblivion is a booster shot of energy, reality, and moral outrage.

    Thomas Frank is a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Harper's, the founding editor of The Baffler and writes regularly for The Guardian. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

    “A decade of fraud, exploitation, and hypocrisy gets mercilessly dissected in these caustic essays . . . In several trenchant pieces probing Donald Trump’s rise, Frank avoids simplistic claims of voter bigotry and instead emphasizes issues of trade, economic decline, and the Democrats’ abandonment of the working class for a politics of centrist neoliberalism. Frank’s combination of insightful analysis, moral passion, and keen satirical wit make these essays both entertaining and an important commentary on the times.” — PW starred review

  • CAMERON DAYTON

    July 19, 2018 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Former Iowan, author, screenwriter, and game developer Cameron Dayton will read from Etherwalker.  Etherwalker has all the hallmarks of a truly epic fantasy, with the pacing of a techno thriller. It is a colorful journey filled with swords, sorcery, monsters, mayhem and metaphysical fantasy. With over 20 years writing for Blizzard, Activision, and EA Games, Cameron has created characters, storylines, and dialogue for some of the most popular games in the world. His co-wrote the screenplay for the indie comedy Unicorn City, which was picked up by Netflix, and has published short stories in five sf and fantasy anthologies. Etherwalker is the first book in a trilogy.

    This special event is co-sponsored with ICAD.

  • BETWEEN THE LINES

    July 19, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    The International Writing Program presents authors Armen of Armenia, Ameena Hussein, and Kiki Petrosino, who will read from their work. Armen of Armenia is a writer and activist. His first book The Return of Kikos is a collection of interactive short stories, which encourages readers to act as co-authors. His work has appeared in the literary almanac Inqnagir and the Gretert literary newspaper.

    Ameena Hussein is a sociologist, editor, publisher, and novelist from Sri Lanka. She has published two award-winning short story collections, Fifteen, and Zillij. She was an editor of Sometimes There is No Blood, a survey of research on violence against rural women by the International Centre of Ethnic Studies in Colombo and the editor of Nethra, a creative literary journal. In 2003 she co-founded the Perera Hussein Publishing House. Her novel The Moon in the Water was long-listed for the 2007 Man Asia Literary Prize, and appeared in print in early 2009. She lives in Sri Lanka.

    Kiki Petrosino is the author of the poetry collections Witch Wife, Fort Red Border, and Hymn For The Black Terrific.  She is the co-editor of Transom, an on-line poetry journal. She is a graduate of The Iowa Writer's Workshop and teaches at the University of Louisville where she directs the Creative Writing Program.

  • ALICE BOLIN

    July 20, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    In this special event co-sponsored by The Rumpus, Alice Bolin will read from Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession. Kirkus calls Dead Girls  "An illuminating study on the role women play in the media and in their own lives" and Esquire named it one of the best nonfiction books of 2018 so far. “A smart, incisive book about true crime and crime fiction tropes, loneliness, Los Angeles, and literature. I will be thinking about this collection for a long while.” —Sarah Weinman

    Alice Bolin's nonfiction has appeared in publications including ELLE, the Awl, the LA Review of Books, Salon, VICE's Broadly, The Paris Review Daily, and The New Yorker's Page-Turner blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Memphis.

  • ELIZABETH LEIKNES

    July 22, 2018 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa native Elizabeth Leiknes will read from her novel, The Lost Queen of Crocker County. “This heart-warming redemptive novel proves that you can indeed ‘go home again’ . . . What a charmer this book is! Highly recommended for female reading groups.” —Nancy Simpson-Brice

    Elizabeth Leiknes grew up in rural Iowa and can make thirty-seven dishes featuring corn. She recieved her master’s in writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, and currently lives near Lake Tahoe. 

  • MALINDA MCCOLLUM

    July 23, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Malinda McCullom will read from her short story collection, The Surprising Place. Set largely in Des Moines, Iowa, these twelve stories explore the surprising places where our outsized longings may lead us. In prose as lean and unflinching as an Iowa winter, these stories explore confrontation as equally as consolation.

    McCollum’s stories have appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Epoch, ZYZZYVA, the and the anthologies The Worst Years of Your Life and The Paris Review Book of People with Problems. She currently lives in Charleston, SC, where she teaches writing at the College of Charleston.

  • KATE KASTEN

    July 29, 2018 - 3:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City author Kate Kasten will read from her new story collection, Foreign Ground. “[Foreign Ground is] a historically rich chronicling of private suffering across time, strata, and space . . . [with] a varied cast of characters navigating the trauma of trying to reconcile past with present . . . The collection swells with heart-rending tension.”—Kirkus Reviews

    Kate Kasten is the author of four novels: Better Days, The Deconversion of Kit Lamb, Ten Small Beds, and Too Happy as well as a book of fairy tales for adults: Wildwood: Fairy Tales and Fables Re-imagined. Her short fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, American Literary Review, and Northwest Review. Kasten lives and writes in Iowa City, Iowa.

  • JULIE BOATMAN FILUCCI

    July 31, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City native Julie Boatman Filucci will read from and talk about her book, Honest Vision: The Donald Douglas Story. Donald Wills Douglas was founder of the Douglas Aircraft Company, a genius innovator and engineer. This book explores the questions of: What inspired Douglas to envision a commercial airliner when aviation was in its infancy? What motivated him, and what key elements to his leadership style led Douglas Aircraft Company to success? What secret came to light that likely contributed to the downward spiral of that same business? Honest Vision: The Donald Douglas Story brings into sharp focus a facet of a momentous time in world history, illuminated by one man's drive to make the skies available to all.

    Julie Boatman Filucci is also the author of Together We Fly: Voices From The DC-3.

    She has made her career in the aviation industry, at Jeppesen Sanderson, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Cessna Aircraft Company, and with Boeing Flight Services. She is a flight instructor, technical writer, and curriculum developer. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with a Douglas DC-3 type rating, and lives near Aurora, CO.