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 hereWe're sorry! We're experiencing technical difficulties with our system and events will not be live streamed until we can fix it. We apologize for any inconvenience!

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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    August 10, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa native Lucas Hunt will read from his poetry collection, Iowa. The first of five linen-cased, hardcover books in an autobiographical collection of cinematic poetry, Iowa commences the Homeric journey of poet Lucas Hunt from a childhood engulfed by the humidity and sun on a pig farm, to the Society shores of Southampton, the jagged glass and steel canyons of New York City, and the sublimity of Rome and Paris. In Iowa, Hunt brings his literary camera closer to the fire within the belly of a boy poised to champion the writer's dream of life in Manhattan. Economic in style, lyrical and determined in voice, Iowa, from its first foreshadowing verse, will prove Ayn Rand right: “The world you desire can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.”

    Lucas Hunt is the author of Lives and Light on the Concrete, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, East Hampton Star, Catapult, Clarion, and Fiction Writers Review. Lucas Hunt is the president of HUNT Auctioneers. He serves on the board for The Poetry Society of New York.


    August 11, 2019 - 3:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City historians Timothy Walch and Ken Donnelly will talk about local history and Walch’s new book, Irish Iowa. Iowa offered freedom and prosperity to the Irish fleeing famine and poverty. They became the second-largest immigrant group to come to the state, and they acquired influence well beyond their numbers. Author Timothy Walch details these stories and more on the history and influence of the Irish in the Heartland.   

    Walch is the director emeritus of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and the author of two dozen books on a broad range of historical topics. He is a frequent commentator on Iowa Public Radio and Minnesota Public Radio.

    Walch will discuss his book and offer a pictorial perspective on the Irish in Iowa. He will be joined by historian Ken Donnelly who will share stories about his extended family on the farmstead in Benton County and the tavern established by his father in 1934.


    August 15, 2019 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Bestselling author J Ryan Stradal will read from his new novel, The Lager Queen of Minnesota.  “Brilliant. . . a love letter to the Midwest. . . it’s hard to put down not only because the storytelling is so seamless and the characters so relatable, but because the author's delight in the written word is so contagious.” —Jen Sincero

    J. Ryan Stradal is a contributing editor at TASTE Magazine. His bestselling debut, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, won the 2016 American Booksellers Association Indie's Choice Award for Adult Debut Book of the Year and also the 2016 Midwest Booksellers Choice Award for debut fiction. Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in Los Angeles.


    September 9, 2019 - 7:00pm

    North Liberty Community Center

    The ticketed event for Amor Towles originally scheduled for June 25th at 7pm at the North Liberty Library has been rescheduled to Sept 9th. Tickets already purchased through eventbrite for the June 25th event are now valid for the Sept 9th event, and printed tickets can be presented at the Sept 9th event for a discount on purchase of the book.

    Ticketholders who would prefer a refund may email Amy Golly agolly@northlibertyiowa.orgor Melanie Harrison mharrison@northlibertyiowa.orgby Friday, August 16 to have a refund issued.

    The author and Prairie Lights apologize for the disappointment and inconvenience caused by the change of plans. Mr. Towles is looking forward to coming to Iowa and is very sorry he is unable to come this summer. Thank you to the North Liberty Library for graciously hosting the event, and for managing the logistics for rescheduling.

    Amor Towles is the author of the NYT Bestselling novels A Gentleman in Moscow, and Rules of Civility. He will read from and talk about A Gentleman in Moscow, and is happy to sign books. Books will be for sale at the event.

    Tickets are available for $10 on eventbrite, and may be printed out to receive $10 off a purchase of either book at the event.

    For additional questions please contact Amy Golly at or Melanie Harrison at