Iowa City Book Festival International Literary Events All Week in Iowa City

By October 2, 2019 No Comments


The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program Brings World-Changing Writers to Iowa

The International Writing Program (IWP) welcomes special guest Kei Miller (Jamaica-U.K.) as an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor this week as part of the Iowa City Book Festival. Miller, a poet, novelist, short story writer, and broadcaster, will read from and discuss his new collection of poetry, In Nearby Bushes, at 7PM this Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A (123 S. Linn St., Iowa City). Born in Jamaica, he currently lives in England and is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Exeter. Miller won the Forward Prize for Best Poetry Collection for The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion in 2014. Event is free and open to all.

The IWP continues its series of weekly Fall Residency events through October and early November, offering readings and panel discussions with its 28 writers-in-residence, visiting Iowa for the fall from 25 countries. The IWP Fall Residency for writing and cultural exchange is hosted with major support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department and The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, a UNESCO City of Literature.


IWP events this week are part of the Iowa City Book Festival (ICBF) and are all free and open to the public:


Time change to 11AM to allow attendees to join Greta Thunberg’s noon-time student climate strike on the Pedestrian Mall, right outside this event:

IWP Friday Panel Discussion Series at the Iowa City Public Library

Friday Oct. 4 at 11AM, and Fridays Oct. 11 & 25, Nov. 1 & 15 at noon

at Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, 123 S. Linn St., Iowa City

Join the community conversation over free pizza! This Friday, Fall Residents will discuss:
Speaking Freely?

By definition, being a writer depends on having speech be free. Yet freedom of speech is understood and valued very differently across historical moments, cultures, and contexts: the concept of “hate speech” stands in sharp contradiction to that of “freedom of expression.” What is a writer’s responsibility in the domain between the two poles?

Panelists: Shadreck Chikoti (Malawi), Efe Duyan (Turkey), Nick Yu (China), and Tade Ipadeola (Nigeria)


IWP Shambaugh House Friday Reading Series, 5-6PM

Fridays Oct. 4 & 25

at IWP’s Shambaugh House, 430 N. Clinton St., Iowa City
Iowa City’s best multilingual reading series with bagels. Voices from around the world fill historic Shambaugh House, IWP HQ. Reading this Friday: Arai Takako (Japan) and Walis Nokan (Taiwan).



ICBF Panel Discussion: Immigration

10AM-1PM Saturday, Oct. 5

Iowa City Masonic Building, 312 E. College St., Iowa City

Panelists include Lauren Markham, Sarah Elgatian, Andrea Wilson, and IWP Fall Resident Gabriela Román (Mexico).
ICBF Panel Discussion: Who do You Read?

1-2:30PM Saturday, Oct. 5
Iowa City Masonic Building, 312 E. College St., Iowa City
Featuring James Geary, William Steele, Kendra Allen, and IWP Fall Residents Madara Gruntmane (Latvia), and Róbert Gál (Czech Republic).

Sponsored by the University of Iowa Department of English with support from the Nonfiction Writing Program, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the International Writing Program, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Provost’s Office, and the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature.
ICBF Panel Discussion: Politics

4-5:30PM Saturday, Oct. 5
Iowa City Masonic Building, 312 E. College St., Iowa City
Panel features Kassandra Montag, Amanda Lee Koe (IWP 2013, Singapore), and IWP Fall Resident Efe Duyan (Turkey).




IWP Prairie Lights Sunday Reading Series, 4-5PM

Sundays Oct. 6, 20, & 27; Nov. 3 & 10

at Prairie Lights Bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

The IWP and UI MFA writing programs take over the 2nd floor of Prairie Lights – grab a glass of wine or a fancy soda and settle in for an hour of highlights from three of the writers’ best works. This Sunday’s reading will feature two Fall Residents, Yamkela Tywakadi (South Africa) and Ben Sohib (Indonesia), and Chamini Kulathunga (Sri Lanka; UI MFA Candidate in Literary Translation).

IWP Cinematheque, 7-9PM

Sunday Oct. 6, Tuesday Oct. 22, and Sundays Oct. 27; Nov. 3 & 10

New location for 2019! FilmScene (Ped Mall location), 18 E. College St., Iowa City
(except Tuesday, Oct. 22, at FilmScene at The Chauncey)

Tour the far reaches of global cinema through films created or chosen by the IWP Fall Residents – this Sunday’s presented by Amira-Géhanne Khalfallah (Algeria). Free and open to the public, just like the rest of IWP’s events. Stay for a Q&A after the screening!


Special Theatre Event Next Week:

Global Express: Stories on Stage

8PM Friday, Oct. 11

UI Theater Building, Alan MacVey Theatre, 200 N. Riverside Dr., Iowa City 

Students from The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts perform a train of theatrical readings of moving literary works by Fall Residents. Free, no tickets needed!


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in these programs, please contact the IWP in advance at (319) 335-0128 or


Since 1967, the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa has hosted more than 1,500 writers from more than 150 countries, connecting well-established writers from around the globe, introducing American writers to other cultures through reading tours, publishing books and journals, pursuing cultural diplomacy, and organizing tours, conferences, and other literary and intercultural events around the world. The IWP Fall Residency is part of the IWP’s programming, with major support provided by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and the University of Iowa.



Press Contact: Allison Gnade
Communications Coordinator
International Writing Program
The University of Iowa
(319) 335-0128