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 hereSince live in store events are currenly on hiatus, there are no live audio streams at this time. They will resume when live in store events do.

An archive of some virtual events is 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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  • Brandon Taylor in conversation with Christian Lorentzen

    June 22, 2021 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Brandon Taylor to celebrate the release of his new collection of stories, Filthy AnimalsHe will be joined in conversation by Christian Lorentzen.

    To join this virtual event, register here.

    Filthy Animals has been named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Time, Elle, Enterntainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, O: The Oprah Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, BuzzFeed, Vulture, Thrillist, The Week, Lit Hub, The Rumpus, The Millions, and Paperback ParisO: The Oprah Magazine says, “With Filthy Animals, [Taylor] applies his captivating, precise prose to the short form. These linked narratives thoughtfully examine a group of brainy Midwesterners dwelling deep inside their own heads, falling forward into one another’s orbits.” Laura van den Berg says, “The characters at the heart of this elegant storm of stories are ablaze with risk and tenderness. Their voices are bright and clear, the contours of their pains and desires sharp and urgent. A profoundly gifted writer.” 

    Brandon Taylor is the author of the novel Real Life, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, as well as The National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize and the 2021 Young Lions Fiction Award. His work has appeared in Guernica, American Short Fiction, Gulf Coast, Buzzfeed Reader, O: The Oprah Magazine, Gay Mag, The New Yorker online, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow.  

    He will be joined in conversation by Christian Lorentzen, an essayist and critic based in Brooklyn. He is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books, Bookforum, and Harper's Magazine and a contributing writer for Air Mail.

  • James Reston, Jr. in conversation with Peter Ross Range

    June 24, 2021 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us on Zoom!  James Reston, Jr will talk with Peter Ross Range about his novel of 9/11, The19th Hijacker.  Brent D. Glass, Director Emeritus, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution says of The 19th Hijacker,  “James Reston, Jr. explores the inner life of a reluctant terrorist, an ambivalent participant in one of the greatest crimes of our time. Through three interconnected narratives, Reston transforms his subject from an abstraction into a human being with all the contradictions and flaws we might recognize in ourselves. Part romance, part detective story and part historical novel, The 19th Hijacker will inform and surprise readers with an original perspective that only a writer with Reston's wide range of scholarship can provide.”

    To join this virtual event, register here.

    James Reston is the author of 18 books, including the international bestseller, Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade. Reston was trained in the recruitment of foreign agents in Army intelligence during the Vietnam War era. In 1976–77, Reston was David Frost's Watergate adviser for the historic Nixon interviews. Reston's book on the interviews, The Conviction of Richard Nixon, is the basis for the play Frost/Nixon.  His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, The NYT Magazine, George, Esquire, American Theatre, Playboy, and Rolling Stone. He taught fiction writing in the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina for ten years.

    Peter Ross Range is the author of 1924: The Year That Made Hitler, and The Unfathomable Ascent: How Hitler Came to Power. He served as Time magazine’s correspondent in Germany and as White House correspondent for U.S. News and World Report  His work has appeared in the NYT magazine, National Geographic, and the London Sunday Times magazine.

  • Between the Lines: Identity and Belonging, IWP Faculty Reading with Poupeh Missaghi and José Olivarez

    June 27, 2021 - 2:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us, with the International Writing Program, for a reading from prize-winning authors Poupeh Missaghi and José Guadalupe Olivarez, faculty for three years with the IWP Between the Lines program. Thanks to the Building Bridges Program of the Duke Doris Foundation for Islamic Art for support of IWP's BTL: Identity and Belonging.

    To join this virtual event, register here.

    José  Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It was named a top book of 2018 by The Adroit Journal, NPR, and the New York Public Library. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he co-edited the poetry anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT.

    Poupeh  Missaghi  is a writer, a translator both into and out of Persian, an editor, and an educator. She holds a PhD in English and creative writing from the University of Denver, an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, and an MA in translation studies. Her debut novel trans(re)lating house one was published by Coffee House Press in February 2020. Her nonfiction, fiction, and translations have appeared in numerous journals, and she has several books of translation published in Iran. I’ll Be Strong for You, her translation of Iranian author Nasim Marashi’s novel, is forthcoming in spring 2021. As an editor, she worked for many years with  Asymptote  and is coeditor of  Matters of Feminist Practice  from Belladonna* Collaborative. She is currently a visiting assistant professor at the Department of Writing at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, a faculty mentor at the low-residency MFA of Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, as well as a writing consultant at Baruch College, CUNY, NY. 

  • Chris Offutt in conversation with Elizabeth McCracken

    June 28, 2021 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Join Iowa Writers' Workshop alumni and former faculty Chris Offutt and Elizabeth McCracken for a conversation about Offutt's The Killing Hills. Of the new book, author James Sallis says, “Quite aside from being one of our finest storytellers, in his first crime novel Chris Offutt reminds us as always of how much we’ve pushed away from us—the natural world, kindness, community—and that the time will come when we reach again and it’s no longer there for the asking."

    To register for this virtual event, click here.

    Chris Offutt is the author of the Kentucky noir Country Dark, which was translated into five languages and winner of the 2019 Prix Mystère de la Critique and the Prix de Beaune Grand Prize for Best Foreign Crime Novel. He is also author of the short-story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods, the novel The Good Brother, and three memoirs: The Same River Twice, No Heroes, and My Father, the Pornographer. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. He has written screenplays for Weeds, True Blood, and Treme, and has received fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim foundations. He lives in rural Lafayette County near Oxford, Mississippi.

    Elizabeth McCracken is the author of seven books, including The Souvenir Museum, Bowlaway, Thunderstruck & Other Stories (winner of the 2014 Story Prize and long-listed for the National Book Award), and The Giant's House (a National Book Award finalist). Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, won three Pushcart Prizes, a National Magazine Award, and an O. Henry Prize.

  • A Virtual Night With Christina Baker Kline

    July 7, 2021 - 6:00pm

    Multi Indie Bookstore Event - Crowdcast

    Join Christina Baker Kline for a one night only event to celebrate the paperback publication of The Exiles! John Searles will host the conversation with special guests Elin Hilderbrand, Chris Bohjalian, Kristin Hannah, and Paula McLain.

    This is a ticketed event - to join, purchase a copy of The Exiles in paperback through this link.

    A #1 New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including The ExilesOrphan Train, and A Piece of the World, CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE is published in 40 countries. Her novels have received the New England Prize for Fiction, the Maine Literary Award, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, among other prizes, and have been chosen by hundreds of communities, universities and schools as “One Book, One Read” selections. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in various anthologies as well as the New York Times and the NYT Book ReviewThe Boston GlobeThe San Francisco ChronicleLitHubPsychology TodayPoets & Writers, and Salon. Kline is a resident of New York City and Southwest Harbor, Maine.

    JOHN SEARLES is the author of the best-selling novels Boy Still Missing, Strange But True, and Help for the Haunted, which was named a Boston Globe Best Crime Novel of the Year, an Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Must List, and winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award. His new novel Her Last Affair will be published in March, 2022 by Custom House/HarperCollins. John has appeared frequently on programs like NBC’s Today Show, CBS This MorningLive! With Regis & Kelly as well as CNN and NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Searles was the longtime books editor at Cosmopolitan. His essays have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post and numerous other publications. He has a master's degree in creative writing from New York University and lives in New York City with his husband and their dog Ruby.

    ELIN HILDERBRAND is a mother of three, an avid runner, reader, and traveler, and the author of twenty-three novels. She grew up outside Philadelphia, and has lived on Nantucket for more than twenty years.

    CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 22 books, most recently Hour of the Witch, the May Barnes & Noble Book Club selection and instant New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestseller. His work has been translated into more than 35 languages and become three movies (including Midwives, based on his #1 bestselling novel and starring Sissy Spacek) and a hit TV series (HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant starring Kaley Cuoco), with other series in varying stages of development. He is also a screenwriter and the playwright of Wingspan and Midwives.

    KRISTIN HANNAH is an award-winning, bestselling author of over 21 novels including the recently published New York Times #1 bestselling, The Four Winds, and the international blockbusters, The NightingaleThe Great Alone, and Firefly Lane. The film of Hannah’s much loved novel, The Nightingale, (published in 43 languages) starring Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning, is slated for December 2022, and Netflix released a 10- part series based on Firefly Lane in early February, 2021. The Great Alone has also been optioned for the screen. Kristin’s work touches millions of people. Renowned for her strong women characters, her books are read, discussed, and revered by book clubs all over the country. A former-lawyer, Kristin lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. She can’t imagine a better career than writing every day and doesn’t miss practicing the law – or wearing heels to work.

    PAULA MCLAIN is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Love and Ruin, Circling the SunThe Paris Wife, and A Ticket to Ride, the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses, and two collections of poetry. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, O: The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She lives in Ohio with her family.