July 20, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    In this special event co-sponsored by The Rumpus, Alice Bolin will read from Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession. Kirkus calls Dead Girls  "An illuminating study on the role women play in the media and in their own lives" and Esquire named it one of the best nonfiction books of 2018 so far. “A smart, incisive book about true crime and crime fiction tropes, loneliness, Los Angeles, and literature. I will be thinking about this collection for a long while.” —Sarah Weinman

    Alice Bolin's nonfiction has appeared in publications including ELLE, the Awl, the LA Review of Books, Salon, VICE's Broadly, The Paris Review Daily, and The New Yorker's Page-Turner blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Memphis.


    July 19, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    The International Writing Program presents authors Armen of Armenia, Ameena Hussein, and Kiki Petrosino, who will read from their work. Armen of Armenia is a writer and activist. His first book The Return of Kikos is a collection of interactive short stories, which encourages readers to act as co-authors. His work has appeared in the literary almanac Inqnagir and the Gretert literary newspaper.

    Ameena Hussein is a sociologist, editor, publisher, and novelist from Sri Lanka. She has published two award-winning short story collections, Fifteen, and Zillij. She was an editor of Sometimes There is No Blood, a survey of research on violence against rural women by the International Centre of Ethnic Studies in Colombo and the editor of Nethra, a creative literary journal. In 2003 she co-founded the Perera Hussein Publishing House. Her novel The Moon in the Water was long-listed for the 2007 Man Asia Literary Prize, and appeared in print in early 2009. She lives in Sri Lanka.

    Kiki Petrosino is the author of the poetry collections Witch Wife, Fort Red Border, and Hymn For The Black Terrific.  She is the co-editor of Transom, an on-line poetry journal. She is a graduate of The Iowa Writer's Workshop and teaches at the University of Louisville where she directs the Creative Writing Program.


    July 19, 2018 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Former Iowan, author, screenwriter, and game developer Cameron Dayton will read from Etherwalker.  Etherwalker has all the hallmarks of a truly epic fantasy, with the pacing of a techno thriller. It is a colorful journey filled with swords, sorcery, monsters, mayhem and metaphysical fantasy. With over 20 years writing for Blizzard, Activision, and EA Games, Cameron has created characters, storylines, and dialogue for some of the most popular games in the world. His co-wrote the screenplay for the indie comedy Unicorn City, which was picked up by Netflix, and has published short stories in five sf and fantasy anthologies. Etherwalker is the first book in a trilogy.

    This special event is co-sponsored with ICAD.


    July 18, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    What’s the Matter With Kansas and Listen, Liberal author and journalist Thomas Frank will read from his new book, Rendezvous With Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society.

    What does a middle-class democracy look like when it comes apart? When, after forty years of economic triumph, America’s winners persuade themselves that they owe nothing to the rest of the country.  For those who despair of the future of our country and of reason itself, Rendezvous with Oblivion is a booster shot of energy, reality, and moral outrage.

    Thomas Frank is a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Harper's, the founding editor of The Baffler and writes regularly for The Guardian. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

    “A decade of fraud, exploitation, and hypocrisy gets mercilessly dissected in these caustic essays . . . In several trenchant pieces probing Donald Trump’s rise, Frank avoids simplistic claims of voter bigotry and instead emphasizes issues of trade, economic decline, and the Democrats’ abandonment of the working class for a politics of centrist neoliberalism. Frank’s combination of insightful analysis, moral passion, and keen satirical wit make these essays both entertaining and an important commentary on the times.” — PW starred review


    July 18, 2018 - 5:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    B&B owner Deedie Runkel will read from Scone By Scone: Tales from an Innkeeper’s Life.  “The stories about an Innkeeper’s life are hilarious and heartfelt. The characters are unforgettable, the recipes delectable. But it’s Runkel’s flair for treating life as a delicious challenge, and for treating the most outrageous guest with grace, that make this book such a rich meal.” —Lisa Loomer

    Runkel majored in English at Penn State, where she met her husband when they both wrote for The Daily Collegian. Just recently, she earned her Master’s degree in Fine Arts in writing from UC/Riverside. She is the author of the autobiography Boxes: Lifting the Lid on an American Life, and her opinion pieces and articles have appeared in The Philadelphia Bulletin, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Friends Journal, and other publications. She and her husband run Anne Hathaway's Bed & Breakfast in Ashland Oregon, home of the world-class Oregon Shakespeare Festival, to which hundreds of thousands of people come each year, February through June.


    July 17, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Roy Scranton, author of We’re Doomed. Now What: Essays on War and Climate Change, will be joined by poets Zach Savich & Hilary Plum to discuss militarism, climate change, the correlation of police violence and war, as well as living, dying and raising children in the Anthropocene.

    “Despite signs to the contrary, Scranton argues that hope is possible. Hope arises, he maintains, from coming to terms with our fate and learning to live through the end with peaceful resolve and a new interpretation of what it means to be in the world. If we can’t do anything about climate change, we can at least adjust how we see ourselves in relation to other people and all living things, even as—especially as—great struggle and pain become more commonplace. With scrupulous prose, Scranton sheds light on the best and worst parts of humanity.”—Amy Brady, Guernica

    Zach Savich and Hilary Plum are co-editors of the Rescue Press Open Prose Series. The event will begin with a short reading from each of their latest books of poetry; Daybed, and Strawberry Fields.



    July 16, 2018 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights

    Diana Goetsch will read from her new chapbook, In America.  “Diana Goetsch possesses one of the most enviable gifts of poetry—the elasticity and warmth of a genuine human voice.” —Tony Hoagland

    Goetsch is the author of The Job of Being Everybody, Your Whole Life, Nobody’s Hell, and Nameless Boy. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, the Gettysburg Review, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize, as well as in the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her essay series “Life in Transition,” ran in The American Scholar from 2015-16. She has taught writing at colleges, M.F.A. programs, public schools, prisons and, for seventeen years, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.


    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.


    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.


    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.