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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  • IAN STANSEL & SARAH STRICKLEY

    June 22, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduates Ian Stansel and Sarah Strickley will read from their new fiction.

    Ian Stansel will read from The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo.  “Stansel confidently updates the American Western while honoring its most daring storytellers: Charles Portis and Larry McMurtry. In taut, cinematic prose, Stansel considers the romance of frontier justice, the seductive power of a good old-fashioned horse chase/manhunt and the heartbreaking costs of fraternal rivalry.” —Amber Dermont

    Stansel is the author of the story collection Everybody’s Irish, and his work has appeared in Ploughshares, Joyland, Ecotone, and Salon. He teaches creative writing at the University of Louisville.

    Sarah Anne Strickley will read from Fall Together: Stories Re-Told, published by Gold Wake Press. “Strickley’s work is bold, honest, and confident. Her language is the perfect combination of lyricism and directness . . . inventive stories that carry the reader into dark territory.” —Chris Offutt  

    Her work has appeared in Oxford American, A Public Space, Harvard Review, Gulf Coast, The Normal School, and the Cincinnati Review. Strickley teaches creative writing and is the faculty editor of Miracle Monocle at the University
    of Louisville.

  • RUPERT THOMSON

    June 24, 2018 - 4:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Novelist Rupert Thomson will read from his new book, Never Anyone But You. “Rupert Thomson deftly weaves a story that spans several decades—The Paris Surrealists, Nazi-occupied Jersey, heroic acts of resistance, and intense and enduring (and forbidden) love—into one seamless whole. Nail-bitingly tense and incredibly moving."—Monica Ali

    Thomson is the author of nine novels and a memoir, including Secrecy; The Insult, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and selected by David Bowie as one of his 100 Must-Read Books of All Time; The Book of Revelation, and Death of a Murderer. He lives in London.

  • ANJALI SACHDEVA

    June 25, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Anjali Sachdeva will read from her short story collection, All the Names They Used for God.  “Each one provides a haiku-esque glimpse into the infinite mind of an individual while revealing how the seeming trivialities of life can reverberate with meaning. Throughout, characters grapple with predetermination as they experience the brutal clash between expectation and reality.” —Michael Valinsky

    Anjali Sachdeva’s fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, The Yale Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Literary Review, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She has taught writing at the University of Iowa, Augustana College, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

  • LAURA ESTHER WOLFSON

    June 26, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Winner of the Iowa Prize in Literary Nonfiction, Laura Esther Wolfson, will read from her literary debut, For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors. “Set variously in America, France, and the former Soviet Union, these interlinked stories have a certain magic about them. They speak of loss and disappointment, of foiled ambitions and failed marriages. And yet there is something uplifting about them—owing no doubt to the author’s reserves of talent and wisdom.” —Daphne Merkin

    Laura Esther Wolfson’s writings have appeared in the Bellingham Review, Columbia Journal, Gettysburg Review, Poetry Daily, rumpus.net, Superstition Review, Sun, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. She lives in New York City.

  • SARAH PRINEAS

    June 27, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Iowa City authorSarah Prineas, known for the acclaimed Magic Thief series, will read from The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings, a stunning new tween fantasy where books literally come to life! The powerful Lost Books at the palace library are infecting the rest with an evil magic, and two unlikely friends must figure out who, or what, is controlling the books and their power. “A page-turner of a fantasy with elements of humor as well as intrigue, swordplay, and librarian-versus-hostile-book combat."—Booklist

    Sarah Prineas lives in the midst of the corn in rural Iowa, where she wrangles dogs, cats, chickens, and goats, goes on lots of hikes, and finds time to write. She is also the author of Ash & Bramble, a retelling of Cinderella. She is married to a physics professor and has two kids. She can sometimes be found working amongst the stacks of the children’s department at Prairie Lights!

  • AMBER TAMBLYN

    July 7, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Slam poet and Emmy-winning actor Amber Tamblyn will read from her new book, Any Man. This blazingly original novel brings to startling life a specter of sexual violence in the shadowy form of Maude, a serial female rapist who preys on men. "An explosive, shapeshifting piece of literary real estate, Amber Tamblyn's arresting debut offers a scathing portrait of American celebrity culture and the way in which it transmutes human tragedy into a vicious circus." —Janet Fitch

    Tamblyn is the author of Bang DittoFree Stallion, and the critically acclaimed Dark Sparkler. She has been nominated for Emmy, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit awards. Tamblyn reviews books of poetry for Bust Magazine, is poet in residence at Amy Poehler's Smart Girls and is a contributing writer for The New York Times. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

  • SANDRA SCOFIELD

    July 9, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Sandra Scofield will talk about her new writing guide, The Last Draft: A Novelist’s Guide to Revision. “Drawing deeply on her own teaching and writing and using a multitude of examples from classic and contemporary fiction, [Scofield] offers a meticulous guide to revising a novel . . . love the process and what you learn.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

    Scofield is the author of seven novels, the memoir Occasions of Sin, Swim: Stories of the Sixties, and Scene Book. She is on the faculty of the Solstice MFA Program in Creative Writing at Pine Manor College and has for many years taught in the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

  • MICHAEL MARTONE & DONALD MORRILL

    July 10, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Masters of literary form Michael Martone and Donald Morrilll will read from their new work.

    Essayist Michael Martone will read from Brooding: Aria, Choruses, Lullabies, Follies, Dirges, and a Duet.  “This quirky, enlightening book will have you thinking differently about everything from hats to railroads to coffee to Captain Kangaroo. What a treat.”—Valerie Miner

    Martone is the author of The Flatness and Other Landscapes, Racing in Place, Four for a Quarter, The Blue Guide to Indiana, and Michael Martone. He has edited a dozen books, including A Place of Sense and Townships, published by the University of Iowa Press. He teaches at the University of Alabama and lives in Tuscaloosa.

    Poet and non-fiction writer Donald Morrill will read from his first novel, Beaut. "With his debut novel, Donald Morrill shows that prose and poetry can become indistinguishable on the page just as beauty and tragedy are often indistinguishable in our lives. This is a punchy, finely written novel driven by a fierce determination to condense our humanity to the written word." —Wiley Cash

    Donald Morrill is the author of the nonfiction volumes Impetuous Sleeper, The Untouched Minutes, Sounding for Cool, and A Stranger's Neighborhood, and several poetry collections including Awaiting Your Impossibilities, a 2015 Florida Book Award recipient. Morrill is a former instructor at the Iowa Nonfiction writing Program, and currently teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Writing Program at the University of Tampa.

     

  • TOM MACHER

    July 11, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Writers’ Workshop graduate Tom Macher will read from his memoir, Halfway, about his time spent in boys’ homes and halfway houses as a teen. “In Tom Macher’s tough new memoir, halfway is a condition of the heart and soul as much as it is a refuge for wayward boys . . . Many of the boys we meet along the way don’t make it, but one of them endures, and a lone voice survives, as Tom Macher returns to tell this beautiful tale.” —Charles d’Ambrosio

    Tom Macher grew up in Georgia, New York, and California and spent his teenage years bouncing around from boys’ homes to halfway houses to communes in Montana, New York, and Louisiana. He has twice received fiction fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

  • THOMAS FOX AVERILL

    July 13, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Thomas Fox Averill will read from his novel, Found Documents from the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr. Not just epistolary, this novel is archival, told entirely through journals, letters, photos, drawings, notes, and clippings left behind by Nell Doerr, who lived in Lawrence, Kansas, between 1854 and 1890. It is the  story of her two stillborn babies, her move to Kansas, the loss of her husband in Quantrill’s Raid, and her discovery, while hiding in her basement, of the fossils of ancient creatures in the foundation rock.

    Thomas Fox Averill is the author of Rode, Secrets of the Tsil Café: A Novel with Recipes, and A Carol Dickens Christmas: A Novel. He received an O. Henry Award for short fiction. He lives in Topeka, Kansas.