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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    November 16, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City-based photographer Barry Phipps will show photographs from and talk about his book Between Gravity and What CheerWhen Phipps relocated to Iowa City from Chicago, he knew nothing of Iowa. In these photographs Phipps documents rural Iowa communities as they are now, without condescending or overemphasizing the decline of small town America. 

    Barry Phipps is an Iowa City-based multimedia artist and professional photographer. He is the founder of an apparel company, a recording studio, and a record label. His latest album The Town was released on his own Tight Ship Records label.


    November 26, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Former Iowa Citian, now LA street artist Morley will talk about his second book, Let’s Burn This Moment Down to the Filter: Art and Other Novelties. In this book Morley muses on everything from love and relationships to our obsession with technology, pairing his iconic images with thoughtful commentary, and providing fascinating insight into works that are often left to speak for themselves. Morley is a Los Angeles-based street artist. Blending humor, hope, and his unique perspective on life, he specializes in bold, typographic posters which he wheat pastes within the urban landscape.

    His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, LA Magazine, and on networks such as ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Ovation, Amazon, and Showtime. He has been shown in galleries around the world and has lectured at numerous universities, LACMA, and The Artisphere in Washington DC. He was the focus of a national commercial for Toyota as well as an original docu-series from Verizon. He has designed advertising campaigns for Smirnoff Vodka, Bud Light, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the anti-smoking campaign Truth.


    November 28, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Our next Book Club will take place on November 28 at Prairie Lights. The book will be The Juniper Tree by Barbara Comyns, a mysterious take off on one of Grimm's Fairy Tales of the same title. There are many versions of this fable, but each has its own particular magic. Here Bella Winter, single mother of of a child whose father she barely knows, and baring facial scars from an automobile accident. Bella shows herself to be a hero, taking a job as an antiques dealer and meeting interesting customers. There are dark things ahead though.

    "The Juniper Tree, which appeared in 1985, is one of Comyns's most successful, confident and curious productions. It has the clear, pure narrative quality of a fable, but also shows a humanity and maturity." —Margaret Drabble


    November 30, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Join us at Prairie Lights to celebrate Andrea Gibson’s new collection, Lord of the Butterflies. The evening will feature a reading by Andrea following by a Q&A led by Mallory Hellman, director of the Iowa Youth Writing Project. In a fierce oscillation between activism and love, Andrea Gibson’s newest triumph, Lord of the Butterflies, is a masterful showcase from the renowned poet whose writing and performances have captured the hearts of millions. An artful and nuanced look at gender, romance, loss, and family, this is also a book of protest. While rioting against gun violence, homophobia, and white supremacy, Gibson celebrates gender expansion, queer love, and the will to stay alive. Each emotion in Lord of the Butterflies is deft and delicate, resting within imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar. 

    One of the most celebrated and successful poets of our time, Andrea Gibson began their career in 1999 with a break-up poem at an open mic in Boulder, Colorado. In 2008, Gibson leapt into the forefront of the national spoken word poetry scene when they won the first ever Woman of the World Poetry Slam. Gibson is the author of four previous books of poetry and has released seven spoken-word albums. The honesty of Gibson’s work makes audiences and readers feel welcome as they are. Book signing to follow.