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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    October 23, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Iowa City Public Library meeting room B

    Paul Ingram will host a Book Club meeting in Meeting Room B of the Iowa City Public Library to talk about The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead. This marvelously inventive, genre-bending, noir-inflected novel, set in the curious world of elevator inspection, portrays a universe parallel to our own, where matters of morality, politics, and race reveal unexpected ironies. Colson Whitehead is the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad. His other works include The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York. A National Book Award winner and a recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, he lives in New York City.  The Intuitionist,  published in 1999, was Whitehead's first novel - read it and come to the Iowa City Public Library to talk about it with Paul's Book Club!  All are welcome.


    October 23, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Shaun Hamill will read from A Cosmology of Monsters.  "A monster stalks a family across generations; a hidden city beckons from beyond perception; trauma and human frailty and loss bear their terrible fangs. . . . A Cosmology of Monsters is as weird and compelling and ambitious a horror novel as you could possibly want."--Carmen Maria Machado

    A native of Arlington, Texas, Shaun Hamill lives in the dark woods of Alabama with his wife, his in-laws, and his dog. 


    October 24, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    University of Iowa Emeritus Professor and former editor of The Iowa Review, David Hamilton, will read from A Certain Arc: Essays of Finding My Way.  “As one would expect from such a distinguished educator and editor, the prose in this collection is beautifully turned, the intelligence luminous, and the experience and wisdom of a lifetime generously shared: this book is a gift to all literature-lovers. But what seems even more striking and rare, in this age of self–absorbed memoir, is the curiosity and openness of its author, his worldly willingness to learn from others–in short, his humility, which is the true mark of an ethically refined sensibility.”—Phillip Lopate.

    David Hamilton was a member of the English Department at the University of Iowa for thirty-seven years, teaching both literature and writing. Through most of those years he edited The Iowa Review. His earlier books are Deep River: A Memoir of a Missouri Farm, Ossabaw, and The Least Hinge, a volume and chapbook of poems. This reading is co-sponsored by Ice Cube Press, The Nonfiction Writing Program, the Department of English, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Provost’s Office, and the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation.

  • AARON COHEN in conversation with KEMBREW MCLEOD

    October 26, 2019 - 3:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Music writer Aaron Cohen will talk about his book on the history of soul music in Chicago, Move On Up.  "Move On Up is an extraordinary achievement, packed with deep research and vivid writing, with a backbeat so strong it thumps from every page. Cohen has written the definitive account of an important slice of American popular culture. Cue up the Chi-Lites, open this book, and enjoy!"--Jonathan Eig

    Aaron Cohen covers the arts for numerous publications and teaches English, journalism, and humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. He is the author of Aretha Franklin's Amazing Grace.  Kembrew McLeod is a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa who focuses on intellectual property law and culture, popular culture, popular music, and media industries.



    October 26, 2019 - 6:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    This event will be a celebration of the life of Nonfiction Writing Program alum, Ned Stuckey-French, honoring his legacy as a writer, scholar, mentor, social justice advocate, and friend.

  • IWP Reading

    October 27, 2019 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    The IWP and UI MFA writing programs take over the 2nd floor of Prairie Lights – grab a glass of wine or a fancy soda and settle in for an hour of highlights from three of the writers' best works!

    BUDDHISAGAR (fiction, poetry, drama; Nepal) authored the bestselling novel [Karnali Blues], which won the 2010 Rastriya Pratibha Puraskar award; an English translation is forthcoming. He has three other novels and one poetry collection; his radio scripts appear on Nepali broadcasts as well as on BBC; a feature film based on his screenplay will be released in 2020. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Department of State.

    Amira-Géhanne KHALFALLAH (fiction, nonfiction, drama; Algeria) is a journalist, novelist, filmmaker, and playwright. Her plays Les draps [Sheets] and Shams et les poissons du désert  [Shams and the Desert Fish] have been published; her debut novel Le naufrage de la lune [The Wreck of the Moon] appeared in 2018; her short film Essebat  [The Shoe] screened at several international festivals; a feature film is in development. She participates through a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

    Romeo Oriogun 


    October 28, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Poet Arai Takako and translator Jeffrey Angles will read from their new book, Factory Girls, published by Action Books.  “Arai’s work is a microcosm for the current moment in Japanese poetry: exciting, diverse, socially conscious narrative poems that defy boundaries and expectations, lingering in the memory with stark poignancy.” -Kris Kosaka

    Arai Takako is the author of previous poetry collections, including Tamashii dansu [Soul Dance] which won the 2008 Oguma Hideo Prize. Since 1998, she has been an editor for the poetry journal Mi’Te; she has also edited a volume of poems about, and is producing a film connected to, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. Arai teaches Japanese and poetry at Saitama University. She is a member of the 2019 International Writing Program, participating courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

    Jeffrey Angles is an award-winning poet and literary translator of modern and contemporary Japanese poetry and fiction. He is professor of Japanese at Western Michigan University. His visit to Iowa City is sponsored by the UI Japanese Program, the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, the Obermann Center, and the MFA in Literary Translation.


    October 29, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    University of Iowa Alum and Academy-Award nominated screenwriter, director and novelist Nicholas Meyer will read from The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D. "Reading Nicholas Meyer's very first Sherlock Holmes adventure, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, made me decide to become a writer. Reading his latest simply made me a delighted and satisfied reader." --Michael Chabon

    Nicholas Meyer is the author of three previous Sherlock Holmes novels, including the best-selling Seven-Per-Cent Solution. He is a screen-writer and film director, responsible for The Day After, Time After Time, as well as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country among many others. He has won three Emmy Awards and four Saturn Awards.  A native of New York City and former writer for the Daily Iowan, he now lives in Santa Monica, California.


    November 2, 2019 - 1:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Special Event Hosted by The Witching Hour Festival!    In her sharp and candid collection of essays, My Time Among the Whites, critically acclaimed writer and first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the country where she was born. Capó Crucet will read from this new collection which examines the sometimes hopeful, sometimes deeply-flawed ways in which many Americans have learned to adapt, exist, and—in the face of all signals saying otherwise—perhaps even thrive in a country that never imagined them here. Her presentation and reading will be followed by a discussion.

  • IWP Reading

    November 3, 2019 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

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