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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    September 11, 2018 - 5:30pm

    Prairie Lights

    Biographer Mike Lankford will read from and talk about Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo Da Vinci, which was a Wall Street Journal 2017 Book of the Year. "A creative biography of the great Renaissance artist and inventor, taking the bare factual outline we have of da Vinci's life and and filling it in with 15th-century Italy's society, culture and history; the people and personalities who surrounded da Vinci; and the constancies of human nature."—Oregonian

    Mike Lankford is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and the author of Life in Double Time: Confessions of an American Drummer, a memoir about his years as a white drummer in a black R&B band, selected by eight major newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and the Austin Chronicle, as the best music book of the year.


    September 11, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Katie Ford will read from her new poetry collection If You Have to GoBeginning in the cramped space of selfhood―in the bedroom, cluttered with doubts, and in the throes of marital loss―these poems edge toward the clarity of “what I can know and admit to knowing.” An extraordinary sequence at the heart of this book taps into the radical power of the sonnet form, bending it into a kind of metaphysical and psychological outcry. “[Ford is] one of the most important American poets at work today.”—Dunya Mikhail

    Ford is the author of Blood Lyrics, named a finalist for the Los Angeles TimesBook Prize; Colosseum, recognized as a “Best Book of the Year” by Publishers Weeklyand the Virginia Quarterly Review; and Deposition. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she currently teaches at the University of California, Riverside.


    September 13, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Mikkel Rosengaard and Maxim Loskutoff will read from their recent fiction. Mikkel Rosengaard will read from his novel The Invention of AnaOn a rooftop in Brooklyn one spring night, a young writer meets the intriguing artist and mathematician Ana Ivan, who confesses she is from a cursed Romanian lineage. “Mikkel Rosengaard’s intriguing first novel . . . weaves story upon story to explore . . . the bond between writer and muse.” —NYTBR  Rosengaard grew up in Elsinore, Denmark, and now lives in New York City.

    Maxim Loskutoff will read from his story collection Come West and SeeIn an isolated region of Idaho, Montana, and eastern Oregon known as the Redoubt, an armed occupation of a wildlife refuge is escalating into civil war. Against this backdrop, twelve stories of ordinary lives explore the loneliness, fragility, and heartbreak inherent to love. “Devastating . . . grows increasingly bizarre and haunting until it’s left an indelible mark.”—New York Times

    Loskutoff has been honored with the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Global Writing Fellowship in Abu Dhabi, and the M Literary Fellowship in Bangalore. His stories have appeared in PloughsharesFiction, and the Southern Review. He lives in western Montana, where he was raised. 

  • JAMEL BRINKLEY in conversation with Charles D’Ambrosio

    September 14, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Jamel Brinkley will read from his recent story collection A Lucky Man, and be joined in conversation by Charles D’Ambrosio. In the nine stories of A Lucky Man, fathers and sons attempt to salvage relationships with friends and family members and confront mistakes made in the past. Brinkley “is intent on recognizing what masculinity looks like, questioning our expectations of it, and criticizing its toxicity―and somehow managing to do all of that with love . . . The collection may include only nine stories, but in each of them, Brinkley gives us an entire world.”―NPR

    Brinkley’s stories have appeared in A Public Space,andGulf Coast. He has been a Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellow, and lives in Madison. 

    Charles D’Ambrosio is the author of The Point and Other Stories, The Dead Fish MuseumOrphans, and Loitering.He teaches fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.


    September 18, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Inman’s War and Shell Games author Jeffrey Copeland will read from Plague in Paradise: The Black Death in Los Angeles, 1924.  "This narrative non-fiction tells the story of how the medical community and civic leaders in Los Angeles worked to stop the highly-contagious Black Plague in 1924. It highlights the work of the doctor, nurse, and priest at the center of the outbreak and how politics, racism, and greed delayed its resolution" —Paragon

    Jeffrey Copeland is a professor and head of the Department of Languages and Literature at the University of Northern Iowa, where he teaches children's and young adult literature courses and English education. A native St. Louisan, he lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.


    September 20, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Please join us with seven contributing authors to this years’ The Best Small Fictions Anthology for short readings from their work! This series, which began in 2015, has featured an international group of both seasoned and emerging authors who work in flash, micro fiction, prose poetry, haibun, and other hybrid forms. Readers will include Audra Kerr Brown, Kathy Fish, Brenda Peynado, Denise Howard Long, Scott Garson, Jolene McIIwain, and Angela Mitchell.


    September 21, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Kim Brooks will talk about her new book, Small Animals: Parenthood in an Age of Fear, in conversation with Kevin Clouther. This thought provoking examination of the current culture of competitive, anxious, and judgmental parenting is a mixture of essay, memoir, and social commentary. "A disturbing, ultimately affirming look at why parenting in the contemporary United States is defined by fear." ―Publishers Weekly

    Kim Brooks is the author of the novel The Houseguest, and her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, One Story, The Missouri ReviewSalon, Buzzfeed, New York Magazine, andLennyLetter. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their two children.

    Kevin Clouther is the author of the story collection We Were Flying to Chicago. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has taught creative writing at Stony Brook University and Johns Hopkins.                      

  • DAVID WYSTAN OWEN in conversation with Garth Greenwell

    September 24, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate David Wystan Owen will read from and discuss his debut story collection Other People’s Love Affairs in conversation with Garth Greenwell. In these ten stories the people of Glass, a picturesque village on the rugged English coast, are haunted by longings and deeply held secrets. “Writing in the tradition of Chekhov, William Trevor, and Alice Munro, Owen's stories remind us that the thrills and the dangers of living oftentimes go hand-in-hand with the everydayness of life.”—Yiyun Li

    David Wystan Owen’s fiction and essays have appeared in A Public SpaceThe American ScholarLiterary Hub, and the Threepenny Review. A dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom, he now lives in Northern California.

    Garth Greenwell is the author of What Belongs to You, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for six other awards. He lives in Iowa City.