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.  

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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  • All This Could Be Different

    Sarah Thankam Mathews in conversation with Sanjena Sathian

    August 25, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us on zoom with Writers’ Workshop Graduates Sarah Thankam Mathews and Sanjena Sathian, who will talk about Mathews’ new novel, All This Could Be Different. Mathews will do also do a reading from the book. Described by Lithub as a “bildungsroman, an immigrant story, a hero’s journey not to be missed,”  All This Could Be Different is also a warm, dazzling, and profound saga of queer love, friendship, work, and precarity in twenty-first century America.

    REGISTER HERE to attend this virtual event!

    Sarah Thankam Mathews grew up between Oman and India, immigrating to the United States at seventeen. Her work has been published in Best American Short Stories and she is a recipient of fellowships from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In 2020, she founded the mutual aid group Bed-Stuy Strong. All This Could Be Different is her first novel.

    Sanjena Sathian is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Gold Diggers, which was named a Top 10 Best Book of 2021 by the Washington Post, a Best Book of 2021 by NPR, Electric Literature, and longlisted for the Center of Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Her writing has appeared or will appear in The Atlantic, Conjunctions, Boulevard, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Drift, and LitHub, and The Best American Short Stories 2022. She lives in Atlanta and is an incoming Fiction Fellow at Emory University.

     

  • International Writing Program Sunday Reading Series

    August 28, 2022 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Join us for the International Writing Program at Prairie Lights Sunday Reading Series to hear some of this years’ IWP residents read from their work. Readers TBA.

  • Darius Stewart

    August 31, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Darius Stewart in celebration of the release of his book Intimacies in Borrowed Light (EastOver Press, 2022).

    Darius Stewart is the author of a book-length collection of poems, Intimacies in Borrowed Light (EastOver Press, 2022), as well as the chapbooks The Ghost the Night Becomes (2014), 2013 winner of the Gertrude Press Poetry Chapbook Competition, and two titles selected for Main Street Rag's Editor's Choice Chapbook Series: Sotto Voce (2008) and The Terribly Beautiful (2006). His poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in The Brooklyn ReviewCallalooCimarron ReviewFourth GenreSalamanderVerse Daily, and others. Stewart received an MFA in poetry from the Michener Center for Writers and an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa. In 2021, the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame honored him with their inaugural Emerging Writer Award. He is currently a Lulu "Merle" Johnson Doctoral Fellow in English at the University of Iowa in Iowa City where he lives with his dog, Fry.

  • International Writing Program Sunday Reading Series

    September 4, 2022 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Join us for the International Writing Program at Prairie Lights Sunday Reading Series to hear some of this years’ IWP residents read from their work. Readers TBA.

  • Adria Bernardi in conversation with Katie Runde and Louisa Hall

    September 6, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Adria Bernardi in celebration of the release of her book Benefit Street. She will be joined in conversation by Katie Runde and Louisa Hall. 

    Register for this Zoom event HERE

    Adria Bernardi’s novel, Benefit Street, was awarded the 2021 FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Award and published by The University of Alabama Press.  Her publications include an oral history, a collection of literary essays, a collection of short stories, two novels, and eight translations from the Italian. 

    Katie Runde grew up on the Jersey Shore. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College, and her debut novel, The Shore, was published in May 2022 and was an Indie Next pick, an editors’ pick by The New York Times, and a best book of the month by Glamour, Shondaland, and Entertainment Weekly. She lives in Iowa City with her husband and two daughters. 

    Louisa Hall is the author of the novels TrinitySpeak, and Reproduction (forthcoming from Ecco in June).  Trinity was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Award, the winner of the Langum Prize for Historical Fiction, and a New York Times Editor's Choice.  Speak was an Indie Next Pick and a New York Times Editor's Choice, and a best book of the year in NPRSlateThe Washington Post, and Men's Journal. Louisa's poems have appeared in The New RepublicThe Southwest Review, and other journals, and her essays have appeared in The New York TimesLARBSlate, the MIT Technology Review, and Texas Monthly.  She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. 

  • Belinda Huijuan Tang in conversation with Sanjena Sathian

    September 8, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Belinda Huijuan Tang in celebration of the release of her book A Map for the Missing. She will be joined in conversation by Sanjena Sathian.

    You can register for this virtual event HERE

    Belinda Huijuan Tang is a 2021 graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow and recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship. She holds a BA from Stanford University and was a 2019 work-study fellow at the Middlebury Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She lived in China from 2016 to 2018 and, while there, she received an MA from Peking University in Beijing. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

    Sanjena Sathian is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Gold Diggers, which was named a Top 10 Best Book of 2021 by the Washington Post, a Best Book of 2021 by NPR, Electric Literature, and longlisted for the Center of Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Her writing has appeared or will appear in The Atlantic, Conjunctions, Boulevard, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Drift, and LitHub, and The Best American Short Stories 2022. She lives in Atlanta and is an incoming Fiction Fellow at Emory University.

  • Edward Carey

    September 9, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with former Iowa Citian, International Writing Program Resident, and Iowa Writers' Workshop Instructor,  Edward Carey, in celebration of the release of his book Plagues and Pencils: A Year of Pandemic Sketches (University of Texas Press, 2022).  Plagues and Pencils is the sometimes gorgeous, often strange collection of drawings done by Carey during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Each day for an entire year, Carey would complete a drawing, and post it to twitter. Carey’s pencil fills the page with the marvelous and intriguing, picturing people, characters, animals, monsters, and his favorite bird to draw, the grackle. He reaches into history and fiction to escape grim reality through flights of vivid imagination—until events demand the drawings “look straight on.”  Breonna Taylor, the Brontë sisters, John Lewis, King Lear, Dr. Fauci, Mikhail Bulgakov combine into a remarkable document of the artistic mind suspended during a pandemic and its politics.

    Edward Carey is the author of a Prairie Lights' staff favorite novel, Observatory Mansions, as well as the novels Little, Swallowed by a Whale, and Alva & Irva.  He is also the author of plays and has written a series of books for young adults.   Carey has taught creative writing and fairy tales on numerous occasions at the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, and at the Michener Center and the English Department at the University of Texas at Austin. A writer and illustrator who was born in North Walsham, Norfolk, England; he currently lives and teaches in Austin with his wife, the novelist Elizabeth McCracken, and their family.

  • International Writing Program Sunday Reading Series

    September 11, 2022 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Join us for the International Writing Program at Prairie Lights Sunday Reading Series to hear some of this years’ IWP residents read from their work. Readers TBA.

  • Anthony Marra

    September 12, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Bookstore

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Anthony Marra in celebration of the release of his book Mercury Pictures Presents (Random House, 2022).

    Anthony Marra is the New York Times bestselling author of The Tsar of Love and Techno and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and longlisted for the National Book Award. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

  • Sarah Derbew in conversation with Nell Irvin Painter

    September 14, 2022 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Professor Sarah Derbew will talk about her new book, Untangling Blackness in Greek Antiquity, with Professor Nell Irvin Painter, in a special event sponsored by the University of Iowa Department of History.

    You can register for this online event HERE

    Sarah Derbew is a writer, teacher, and advocate for ancient African Studies. She earned a PhD in Classics from Yale University and was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Now, Derbew is an Assistant Professor of Classics at Stanford University, affiliated with the Center for Comparitive Studies in Race and Ethnicity and the Center for African Studies. She is currently co-editing the forthcoming volume Classics and Race: A Historical Reader with Dr. Daniel Orrells and Dr. Phiroze Vasunia. Untangling Blackness in Greek Antiquity is Derbew's first book. 

    Nell Irvin Painter, a leading historian of the United States, is the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, Princeton University. In addition to her earned doctorate in history from Harvard University, she has received honorary doctorates from Wesleyan, Dartmouth, SUNY-New Paltz, and Yale. She is the author of numerous books, including Sojourner Truth, Southern History Across the Color Line, Creating Black Americans, The History of White People, Standing at Armageddon, and Old in Art School