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.
rss RSS


    November 7, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Author/artist  Edward Carey will read from his marvellous new novel, Little.  "A quirky imagining of the life of famed wax sculptor Madame Tussaud, Little is a delightfully strange portrait of a young orphan honing her eccentric craft amid the tumult of the French Revolution. Carey's flair for macabre whimsy has drawn comparisons to Tim Burton (take a look at the illustrations and you can see why)." —Time

    Edward Carey is a novelist, visual artist, and playwright. He is the author of Observatory Mansions, and Alva & Irva, as well as his acclaimed YA series, the Iremonger Trilogy. He has been an instructor for the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a resident with the International Writing Program, and lived in Iowa City for a time with his wife, the author Elizabeth McCracken, and their family. Born in England, he now teaches at the University of Texas and resides with his family in Austin.


    November 8, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Mark Wilson will talk about his new book, The Way of Nile C. Kinnick Jr.: Insights, Images, and Stories of Iowa's 1939 Heisman Trophy Winnerpublished by Ice Cube Press.

    “Hawkeye football has had so many remarkable heroes including Nile Kinnick. Mark Wilson's The Way of Nile C. Kinnick, Jr. is full of what I always aimed for as coach of the Hawkeyes.”—Hayden Fry

    “Hawkeye football is full of legacies and Nile Kinnick was one of the best. The Way of Nile C. Kinnick, Jr. is a great reminder of where we've come from and where we are going. —Kirk Ferentz

    Mark Wilson is a retired Iowa City school teacher and volunteer ambassador at the UI Athletics Hall of Fame. A portion of the book's sales will be donated to the six scholarships in Kinnick's name through the UI Center for Advancement.


    November 9, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Contemporary essayists Meghan O’Gieblyn and Kisha Lewellyn Schlegel will talk about their new books, Interior States and Fear Icons.

    Critic and essayist Meghan O'Gieblyn was born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago before she had a crisis of belief, and still lives in the Midwest, aka "Flyover Country."  Her essays have appeared in Harper's Magazine, n+1, The Point, The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Best American Essays 2017, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Interior States: Essays is her first book.  "[O'Gieblyn] conjures midwestern angst . . .  with humor and dread . . . She examines big-time evangelicalism's growing avoidance of evil and sin ("Hell") and the rise and fall of Christian rock ("Sniffin' Glue") without a particle of condescension, showing why interest in those phenomena should be serious and humane . . ." — Booklist

    Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program graduate Kisha Lewellyn Schlegel's book of essays, Fear Icons, won the inaugural Gournay Prize from Mad Creek Books. She has published in the Tin House blog, The Kenyon Review, and Conjunctions. She now teaches creative writing at Whitman College in Washington. “Kisha Schlegel's brilliant debut illuminates some of our most hardened cultural icons and the fears that they induce . . . This is a bold new literary voice of fierce intelligence, vulnerability, and empathy.” —John D’Agata 


    November 12, 2018 - 7:00pm


    Prairie Lights Presents Alexander McCall Smith at the First United Methodist Church, 214 E. Jefferson St, Iowa City.

    To obtain a ticket to the event, purchase a copy of the McCall's new book, The Colors of All the Cattle ($25.95) in person or by phone from Prairie Lights Bookstore (tickets not available online).  CALL PRAIRIE LIGHTS (319) 337-2681 or visit Prairie Lights at 15 S. Dubuque Street, Iowa City.

    Please join us for the evening to enjoy the genuine warmth, eloquence, and wit of one of the most charming and prolific writers alive. Beloved author Alexander McCall Smith will visit Iowa City to talk about his new book, take questions from the audience, sign copies of his books, and meet his readers. Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and he was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland.

    Call 319-337-2681 or stop in to Prairie Lights (sorry, tickets not available online). One book per ticket, The Colors of All the Cattle ($25.95) will be released Nov 6th and can be picked up at Prairie Lights on or after that date, or at the event.

    The event will last approximately an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, followed by a signing. The author will be happy to pose for photos.

    “A life without stories would be no life at all. And stories bound us, did they not, one to another, the living to the dead, people to animals, people to the land?” — Alexander McCall Smith, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies