Iowa City Book Festival

October 9-15, 2023

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Anna Barker

Anna Barker received her Ph. D. in Comparative Literature in 2002 with a dissertation in translation studies. At the University of Iowa she has taught courses in the English Department, in Cinema and Comparative Literature, and in Asian and Slavic Languages. She has translated the works of numerous International Writing Program writers, and several of her translations have appeared in 91st Meridian and International Accents. Her essay on Helen Maria Willims’ translation of Paul and Virginia will appear in Women and Translation (University of Ottawa Press, 2010). Her areas of interest include translation, 19th-century European and American literature, and women writers. In recent years, she has regularly taught the authors course “Tolstoy and Dostoevsky,” organizing, in fall 2010, a campus-community celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Tolstoy’s death. The celebration featured an open-air reading of Anna Karenina (all 816 pages) in downtown Iowa City over four days with dozens of participants.

Curtis Bauer

Curtis Bauer is a poet and translator. His most recent poetry collection is American Selfie, and his translation publications of Spanish poetry and prose include the memoir Land of Women by María Sánchez, the novel Home Reading Service by Fabio Morábito, and the poetry collection This Could Take Some Time by Clara Muschietti. He lives in Spain and Texas.

October 7 @ 6:30 pm, Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

Cristalle “Psalm One” Bowen

Cristalle Bowen, also known as Psalm One, has been consistently named one of the nation’s Best Artists by the Chicago Tribune, and in 2011 made her television debut on MTV’s Emmy-winning series, MADE. She is an international touring and recording artist; featured in publications such as Vice, Forbes, and The FADER. An artist cut from Chicago’s vast and unique HipHop talent, Psalm has commanded stages of festivals from Paid Due$ to Riot Fest; among artists such as Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Jean Grae, Odd Future, Wu – Tang and so many more… Not just an MC, Psalm has also been road DJ for rap legends. More than an entertainer, Cristalle is also an activist, scholar and teaching artist.

In Her Word Is Bond, Psalm One tells her own story, from growing up in Englewood, Chicago through her life as a chemist, teacher, and legendary rapper. Intrinsically feminist, this story is a celebration of the life and career of one artist who blazed the trail for women in hip hop.

October 8, 4 p.m. at Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

Lan Samantha Chang

Lan Samantha Chang’s new novel, The Family Chao, was published by W. W. Norton in February 2022. She is the author of two previous novels, All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost and Inheritance, and a story collection, Hunger. Her short stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, and The Best American Short Stories. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy in Berlin. Chang is the director of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives with her husband and daughter in Iowa City, Iowa.

October 12, 7:30 p.m. at The Englert Theatre

Elizabeth Crane

Elizabeth Crane is the author of six works of fiction, most recently the novel The History of Great Things and the story collection Turf. She is a recipient of the Chicago Public Library Foundation 21st Century Award. Her work has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and adapted for the stage by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. Her novel, We Only Know So Much, has been adapted for film. She teaches in the low-residency master’s program at UC Riverside–Palm Desert. She lives in Upstate New York.

October 8 @ 1:00 pm at Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

Darrin Crow

Darrin Crow is a storyteller from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Storytelling has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember, whether it was listening to his aunts, uncles and grandparents talking about farming and coal mining in Iowa or immersing himself in Jules Verne and Tolkien up in his tree house. As a high school student he began volunteering at a living history museum. Here he found that he could use his love of telling stories to put people in touch with their heritage in a way they had not experienced before. In college he studied interpretive speech, and after college he worked as an actor and itinerant storyteller in Pennsylvania and Florida. In 1999 he returned to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has been telling stories ever since. Over the last decade he has honed his craft by telling stories across the area in settings from church basements to major outdoor festivals.

October 10 @ 6:30 pm at the University of Iowa Main Library Gallery


Angie Cruz is a novelist and editor. Her fourth novel, How Not To Drown in A Glass of Water is forthcoming Fall 2022. Her novel, Dominicana was the inaugural book pick for GMA book club and chosen as the 2019/2020 Wordup Uptown Reads. It was shortlisted for The Women’s Prize, longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction, The Aspen Words Literary Prize, a RUSA Notable book and the winner of the ALA/YALSA Alex Award in fiction. It was named most anticipated/ best book in 2019 by Time, Newsweek, People, Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Esquire. Cruz is the author of two other novels, Soledad and Let It Rain Coffee and the recipient of numerous fellowships and residencies including the Lighthouse Fellowship, Siena Art Institute, and the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Fellowship. She’s published shorter works in The Paris Review, VQR, Callaloo, Gulf Coast and other journals. She’s the founder and Editor-in-chief of the award winning literary journal, Aster(ix) and is currently an Associate Professor at University of Pittsburgh. She divides her time between Pittsburgh, New York and Turin.

Angie Cruz is presented in collaboration with the University of Iowa Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing.

October 6 @ 7:00 pm at Prairie Lights Books


Anthony Doerr was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the author of the story collections The Shell Collector and Memory Wall, the memoir Four Seasons in Rome, and the novels About Grace,  All the Light We Cannot See, which was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and Cloud Cuckoo Land, which was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award and Novel of the Year in the British Book Awards.

September 28 @ 7:00 pm at the Englert Theatre

Johnnie Each

Johnnie Each is Iowa’s second-ever student poetry ambassador. The Poet Ambassador program recognizes an outstanding, young writer and celebrates poetry and the literary arts in Iowa. Ms. Each has earned multiple gold medals at both the regional and national level in this year’s Scholastic competition for her poetry. She is also the 2022 winner of the Paul Engle Glory of the Senses High School Essay Contest, sponsored by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature.

October 9 @ 1:00 pm at Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

Lori Erickson

Lori Erickson is one of America’s top travel writers specializing in spiritual journeys. She’s the author of The Soul of the Family Tree, Near the Exit, and Holy Rover, and her articles and essays have appeared in publications that include the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic Traveler, Better Homes & Gardens, Travel + Leisure, and USA Today. She’s also the creator of the website Spiritual Travels, which features spiritual sites around the world.

October 10 @ 6:30 pm at the Coralville Public Library


John Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968, when he was twenty-six. He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty-seven. He is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 1980, Mr. Irving won a National Book Award for his novel The World According to Garp. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. In 2013, he won a Lambda Literary Award for his novel In One Person. An international writer, his novels have been translated into almost forty languages. His all-time bestselling novel, in every language, is A Prayer for Owen Meany. A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, John Irving lives in Toronto.

October 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm A Virtual Event

Sarah Kendzior

Sarah Kendzior is the New York Times bestselling author of Hiding in Plain Sight and The View from Flyover Country. She is known for her reporting on St. Louis, her coverage of the 2016 election, and her academic research on authoritarian states. She is the co-host of the acclaimed podcast Gaslit Nation with Andrea Chalupa and was named by Foreign Policy as one of the “100 people you should be following on Twitter to make sense of global events.” Her reporting has been featured in many publications, including Politico, Slate, The Atlantic, Fast Company, The Chicago Tribune, TeenVogue, The Globe and Mail, and The New York Times. She lives in St. Louis.

October 8 @ 11:30 am at Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

Jennifer L. Knox

Jennifer L. Knox is the author of six books of poems—most recently, Crushing It (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Granta, and Poetry, and five times in The Best American Poetry series. She is currently at work on MYCYOWA, a traveling public art installation supported by the Iowa Arts Council and the NEA. She lives in central Iowa and is the proprietor of Saltlickers, a small spice blend company.

October 8 @ 1:00 pm, Prairie Lights Books


John Koethe has published over ten books of poetry and has received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize (for Ninety-fifth Street), the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award (Falling Water), and the Frank O’Hara Award for Poetry (Domes). Other poetry books include Beyond BeliefWalking Backwards, and The Swimmer. He has also published books on Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosophical skepticism, and poetry. He is the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of WisconsinMilwaukee.

October 8 @ 11:30 am at Prairie Lights Books


For forty years, Alex Kotlowitz has been telling stories from the heart of America, deeply intimate tales of struggle and perseverance. He is the author of four books, including his most recent, An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago which received the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. His other books include the national bestseller There Are No Children Here, which the New York Public Library selected as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. It received the Helen B. Bernstein Award and was adapted as a television movie produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey. It was selected by The New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year along with his second book, The Other Side of the River which also received The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. His book on Chicago, Never a City So Real, was recently released in paperback.

October 7 @ 7:00 pm, Pappajohn Business Building


Lyz’s writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book God Land was published in 2019, through Indiana University Press. Her second book Belabored, was published in 2020 by Bold Type Books. Lyz’s essay “All the Angry Women” was also included in the anthology Not that Bad edited by Roxane Gay. Her third book, This American Ex Wife, will be published by Crown. Lyz received her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. She lives in Iowa with her two kids and two dogs and one cat. She write’s a regular newsletter, Men Yell At Me, where she explores the intersection of politics and our bodies in red state America.

September 29 @ 7:00 pm, Coralville Public Library

Beth A. Livingston

Dr. Beth A. Livingston is an Associate Professor in Management & Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, an internal advisor with the Healthier Workforce Center of the Midwest, a NIOSH Center of Excellence, and the faculty director of the Dore-Tippie Women’s Leadership program. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Florida, and her MBA from the University of Kentucky, she began her career at Cornell University in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations before moving to the Midwest. She is passionate about studying human resources, gender & diversity, and the management of work and family in the service of employee well-being. Her research has been highlighted in the New York Times, NPR, and the Harvard Business Review, and she has been published in multiple top academic journals.

Ruthina Malone

Ruthina Malone serves as the President of the Iowa City Community School District School Board. Ruthina earned her BA in Psychology and MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Iowa. She has worked for the University of Iowa since 2003 in various positions, currently as an Administrator within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences overseeing administrative and financial needs of the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. She is also a current member of the Kirkwood Community College’s Foundation Board of Directors.

October 2 @ 2:00 pm, Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

Debra Marquart

Iowa Poet Laureate Debra Marquart’s work explores the relationship between the spoken word, the literary arts, storytelling, and music. She has published six books, including Small Buried Things: Poems, and The Horizontal World: Growing up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere, and she continues to perform with her jazz-poetry, rhythm & blues project, The Bone People, with whom she has released two CDs: Orange Parade (folk/rock) and A Regular Dervish (jazz-poetry). Her work has received over 50 grants and awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a PEN USA Nonfiction Award, a New York Times Editors’ Choice commendation, and Elle Magazine’s Elle Lettres Award, and has been featured on the BBC and National Public Radio. She is the senior editor of  Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment, and she teaches creative writing in ISU’s MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment and in the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.

October 9 @ 1:00 pm, Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

Mary Mascher

Mary J. Mascher is an American politician who served in the Iowa House of Representatives since 1995 – 2021. She is a retired teacher and received her BA and MA from the University of Iowa.

October 2 @ 2:00 pm, Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A


Elizabeth McCracken is the author of seven books: Here’s Your Hat What’s Your HurryThe Giant’s House, Niagara Falls All Over AgainAn Exact Replica of a Figment of My ImaginationThunderstruck & Other StoriesBowlaway, The Souvenir Museum, and the new The Hero of this Book. She’s received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Liguria Study Center, the American Academy in Berlin, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Thunderstruck & Other Stories won the 2015 Story Prize. Her work has been published in The Best American Short StoriesThe Pushcart PrizeThe O. Henry PrizeThe New York Times Magazine, and many other places.

October 8 @ 2:30 pm, Prairie Lights Books


Before joining the journalism faculty of the University of Iowa, Don McLeese was an award winning music journalist. He was popular music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times and the Austin American-Statesman, senior editor at No Depression and a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone magazine. His work has also appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Oxford American and Entertainment Weekly. He has written three previous books, including Dwight Yoakam, A Thousand Miles from Nowhere.

October 8 @ 2:30 pm, Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

Randall Munroe

Randall Munroe is the creator of the webcomic xkcd and author of xkcd: Volume 0. Randall was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and grew up outside Richmond, Virginia. After studying physics at Christopher Newport University, he got a job building robots at NASA Langley Research Center. In 2006 he left NASA to draw comics on the internet full time, and has since been nominated for a Hugo Award three times. The International Astronomical Union recently named an asteroid after him: asteroid 4942 Munroe is big enough to cause mass extinction if it ever hits a planet like Earth.

September 30 @ 7:00 pm, First United Methodist Church

Kyle Munson

Kyle Munson is a lifelong storyteller, journalist, strategist, writer, editor, and producer. He spent 24 years as a journalist for The Des Moines Register and served as only the fourth statewide “Iowa columnist” since World War II. His work blended news, personality, investigation, multimedia, and opinion. He won numerous awards, including a shared Midwest Emmy for documentary video and regular accolades as a top columnist and reporter. He co- produced and hosted public issues forums on important topics such as immigration and race. He was a founding member of the Des Moines Storytellers Project. He helped launch and produce the “Just Go Bike” podcast. In 2017 he won an international journalism grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to travel to China and publish an in-depth series on U.S.-China relations.

Kyle early in his career spent a decade as Iowa’s chief pop music critic, mixing with the likes of Bono, Paul McCartney, and Slipknot. He launched his first features column in 1995 and another in 2002. He spent years covering the Iowa caucuses, the Iowa State Fair, and the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI).

Since 2018 he’s worked in financial services as part of the in-house studio with Principal in Des Moines to help produce an ambitious range of content marketing for the firm’s diverse array of global audiences.

October 8 @ 2:30 pm, Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

Jennifer Ohman-Rodriguez

Jennifer Ohman-Rodriguez (she, her, hers) is in the first call process toward ordination in Word and Sacrament ministry in the ELCA. Her first book, A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance: A Love Story of Grief, Trauma, Healing, and Faith, is published by Chalice Press.  Ohman-Rodriguez curates the Trauma Recovery Page at Compassionate Christianity and holds master’s degrees in early child development and divinity.

October 10 @ 6:30 pm, Coralville Public Library

Zachary Oren Smith

Zachary Oren Smith writes about eastern Iowa for Iowa Public Radio. A Mississippi transplant to Iowa, he’s written for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Muscatine Journal, Mississippi Today, and Scalawag. He covered Jim Throgmorton’s time as Iowa City’s mayor.

October 2 @ 2:00 pm, Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>


Victor Ray is the F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Criminology and African American Studies at the University of Iowa and a Nonresident Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution. His research applies critical race theory to classic sociological questions. His work appears in journals such as the American Sociological Review, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and Sociological Theory. In addition to this research, Victor is also an active public scholar, publishing commentary in The Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, and Boston Review.

October 8 @ 10:00 am, Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a Carnegie Medal winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. He’s also the 2020–2022 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); When I Was the GreatestThe Boy in the Black SuitStampedAs Brave as YouFor Every One; the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu); Look Both WaysStuntboy, in the MeantimeAin’t Burned All the Bright, and My Name Is Jason. Mine Too. (both co-written with Jason Griffin); and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at

October 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, A Virtual Event

María Sánchez

María Sánchez is obsessed with what she cannot see. As a field veterinarian following in the footsteps of generations before her, she travels the countryside of Spain bearing witness to a life eroding before her eyes—words, practices, and people slipping away because of depopulation, exploitation of natural resources, inadequate environmental policies, and development encroaching on farmland and villages. Sánchez, the first woman in her family to dedicate herself to what has traditionally been a male-dominated profession, rebuffs the bucolic narrative of rural life often written by—and for consumption by—people in cities, describing the multilayered social complexity of people who are proud, resilient, and often misunderstood.

Sánchez interweaves family stories of three generations with reflections on science and literature. She focuses especially on the often dismissed and undervalued generations of women who have forgone education and independence to work the land and tend to family. In doing so, she asks difficult questions about gender equity and labor. Part memoir and part rural feminist manifesto, Land of Women acknowledges the sacrifices of Sánchez’s female ancestors who enabled her to become the woman she is.

October 7 @ 6:30 pm, Iowa City Public Library mtg. room A


Rebecca Solnit has been named the eleventh recipient of the Paul Engle Prize, presented by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization.

Solnit is a writer, historian, and activist who has written more than twenty books on feminism, environmental and urban history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including Whose Story Is This?, Call Them By Their True Names (Winner of the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction), Men Explain Things to MeThe Mother of All Questions, and the recent memoir, Recollections of My Nonexistence.

She has received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award. A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at the Guardian and a former “Easy Chair” columnist at Harper’s. Speaking about the award, Solnit said she was honored to be recognized.

“Finding out, while still on the first cup of tea, that you’ve won a prize, and it’s named after a poet, editor, and teacher passionately devoted to internationalism and the literary community, is a very good way to start the day,” she said. “To receive a prize that has gone to writers I admire so much—Alexander Chee, Roxane Gay among them—deepens my sense of the honor of being invited into the community of writers, past and present, and it encourages me to keep trying to do the kind of engaged work this prize recognizes.”

The prize includes a $20,000 award and a one-of-a-kind work of art. Solnit received the award at a special ceremony September 28, 7 p.m. at the Coralville Public Library.

Jim Throgmorton

Jim Throgmorton is an Emeritus Professor in the University of Iowa’s School of Planning and Public Affairs. He is the author of Planning as Persuasive Storytelling (1996), Co-Crafting the Just City (2022), and dozens of articles in scholarly journals and edited books. In collaboration with Barbara Eckstein, he also co-edited Story and Sustainability (2003). As an active resident of Iowa City, Iowa, he served as an elected member of its city council from late-1993 through 1995 and again from 2012 through 2019. During the last four years of his council term he also served as mayor. As mayor, he vigorously led efforts to foster a more inclusive, just, and sustainable city.

Jerald Walker

A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Jerald Walker has published in magazines such as Creative NonfictionThe Missouri Review, The Harvard ReviewMother JonesThe Iowa Review, and The Oxford American, and he has been widely anthologized, including five times in The Best American Essays. Walker is the author of Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption, recipient of the 2011 PEN New England/L.L. Winship Award for Nonfiction and named a Best Memoir of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, and The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult. His latest book, How to Make a Slave and Other Essays was a Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award in Nonfiction, and winner of the 2020 Massachusetts Book Award in Nonfiction. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and James A. Michener Foundation.

October 11 @ 7:00 pm, Shambaugh Auditorium, University of Iowa Main Library

Elizabeth Weiss

Elizabeth Weiss earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. Her nonfiction has been published in The New Yorker online. She has taught for the University of Iowa, the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, and the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, and is a mentor for the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. She lives in Minneapolis with her spouse, daughter, and dog.

October 8 @ 4:00 pm, Prairie Lights Books

Volunteers are needed to assist with the Book Festival on October 8th and October 9th. Be part of the success of this great event. Shifts are 1-2 hours long and fun!

All volunteers receive our unyielding gratitude and an Iowa City is LIT-erature shirt from Raygun.

Click to sign up!


Robert Costa, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Gina Frangello, Gregory Galloway, Laura Gellot, Julie Hanson, Pierre Joris, Shreya Khullar, Deb Marquart, Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller, Kristy Nabhan-Warren, Marc Rahe, Emily Rapp, Chuy Renteria, Fiona Sampson, Habib Tengour, Bob Woodward


James Autry, Dr. Rana Awdish, Erika Billerbeck, David Bluder, Kelly Carlin, Charles Connerly, Thomas Cook, Lisa Dillmann, Hope Edelman, Dr. Eve L. Ewing, Fatima Farheen, Barbara Feller, Thomas Frank, Anja Kampmann, Jill McCorkle, David Perkins, Anne Posten, Pilar Quintana, Ron Rash


Kendra Allen, Paula Becker, Toi Derricota, Joseph Dobrian, John Domini, Andy Douglas, Cornelius Eady, Sarah Elgatian, Lori Erickson, Melissa Febos, James Geary, Josh Gondelman, David Hamilton, Donika Kelly, Amanda Lee Koe, Jessica Laser, Lyz Lenz, Lauren Markham, Joe Michaud, Kei Miller, Kassandra Montag, Raj Patel, Eileen Pollack, Daniel Poppick, John Sandford, William Steele, Lisa Tetrault, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Christina Ward, Don Waters, Dr. Angela Sadler Williamson, Andrea Wilson


Haifa Abu Al-Nadi, Usman Ali, Sadagat Aliyeva, Eman Alyousuf, Anastacia-Renee, James Anderson, James A. Autry, Kateryna Babkina, Bayasgalan Bastuuri, Ari Berman, Denise Pattiz Bogard, Rumena Bužarovska, Dr. Ira Byock, Tameka Cage Conley, Chow Hon-Fai, Max Allan Collins, Dan Coman, Common, Art Cullen, Z. P. Dala, Kathy Eldon, Jane Gregory, Tahila Hakimi, Eduardo Halfon, Rick Harsch, Tim Harwood, Silvia Hidalgo, Huang Chong-Kai, Dan Kaufman, Rasha Khayat, William Kent Krueger, Mary Kubica, Emily Liebowitz, Bejan Matur, Mindy Meija, Fatima Farheen Mirza, Wayetu Moore, Mike Mullin, Derek Nnuro, Faisal Oddang, Sunni Overend, Melissa Palma, Chuy Renteria, Nancy Rommelmann, Alex Salkever, Chandramohan Sathyanathan, Sjón, David Small, Mark Wilson


Francesca Abbate,  Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Chris Adrian, Ramsha Ashraf, Larry Baker, Will Bardenwerper , Gary Boelhower, Luis Bravo, Dan Campion, Rafael Campo, Frances Cannon, Alexander Chee, Audrey Chin, Jennifer Colville, Loren W. Cooper, Eliza David, Li Di An, Joseph Dobrian, Michelle Edwards, Nathan Englander, Lori Erickson,  Bi Feiyu, Jin Feng, Julia Fierro, Ed Folsom, Melissa Fraterrigo, Alberto Fuguet, Kaori Fujino, Kathryn Gamble, Enza Garcia Arreaza, Ted Genoways, Erin Gitchell, Lorna Goodison, Garth Greenwell, Barbara Hall, Ya Hsien, John Ira Thomas, Justine Johnson Hemmestad, Jon K. Lauck, Dung Kai-Cheng, Hilary Kaplan, Lisa Katz, Anne Kennedy, Jon Kerstetter, Joe Kyugen Michaud, Mike Lankford, Luljeta Lleshanaku, Okky Madasari, Christopher Merrill, Sadek Mohmmed, Peter Nazareth, Pola Oloixarac, Tim Parks, Steve Paul, Jim Perlman, Sarah Prineas, Jennifer Pritchard, Donald  Ray Pollock, Julie Russell-Steuart, Jeffrey Ryan, Steve Semken, Yuriy Serebriansky, Yaara Shehori, Daniel Simon, Crystal Spring Gibbons, Whitney Terrell, Jeremy Tiang, Antionette Tidjani Alou, Zachary Turpin, Anja Utler, Inara Versemnieks, Manual Vilas, Xavier Villanova, Jacquelyn Vincenta, Daniel Wallace, Kenneth Whyte, G. Willow Wilson, Andrea Wilson, Poon Yiu Ming


alea adigweme, Wasi Ahmed, Khaled Al Khamissi, Eros Atalia, Rachel Aukes, Yusi Avianto Pareanom, Anna Barker, Dan Barry, Odeh Bisharat, Daniel Boscaljon, Velibor Bozovic, James F. Brooks, Julie A. Burns, Angie Carter, Crystal Chan, Ryan Collins, Jennifer Colville, Rachel Corbett, Galit Dahan-Carlibach, Zp Dala, Eliza David, Joseph Dobrian, John Domini, Ricky Dragoni, Legodile ‘Dredd  X’ Seganabeng, Anaïs Duplan, Allen Eskens, John Freeman, Roxane Gay, Mara Genschel, Obari Gomba, Mortada Gzar, Tse Hao Guang, Donald Harstad, Craig A. Hart, Mallory Hellman, Aleksandar Hemon, Ray Hendrickson, Nathan Hill, Claire Hoffman, Adam G. Hooks, Michelle Hoover, Helen Horn, Allegra Hyde, Marie Jackson, Leslie Jamison, Zhou Jianing, Ruel Johnson, Akhil Katyal, Daniel Khalastchi, Suki Kim, Jennifer L. Knox, Chen Ko Hua, Tom Lutz, Alexander Maksik, Emily Martin, Allison Means, Christopher Merrill, Rachel Morgan, Amanah Mustafi, Okey Ndibe, Marc Nieson, Lynne Nugent, Robert Oldshue, Robert Olen Butler, Ukamaka Olisakwe, Robert Owens, Shenaz Patel, Carlos Patiño Pereda, F. Paul Wilson, Alice M. Phillips, Leonard Pitts Jr., Hilary Plum, Vladimir Poleganov, Carolyn Raffensperger, Hensli Rahn Solorzano, Nell Regan, Rick Riordan, Melvin Rivers, Julie Rubini, Julie Russel-Stewart, Deb Schense, Steve Semken, Vivek Shanbhag, Tomoka Shibasaki, Tom Shroder, Courtney Sina Meredith, Katherine E. Standefer, Stephanos Stephanides, Catherine A. Stewart, Kalmia Strong, Kenriikka Tavi, Mariano Tenconi Blanco, Erik Therme, Genevieve Trainor, Tatiana Troitskaya, B.C. Tweedt, Kali VanBaale, Ng VirginiaSuk-Yin, Angelo Volandes, Andrea Wilson, Andrea Wulf, Rachel Yoder, Christina Yohannes, Alice S.  Yousef

About the festival

WELCOME TO IOWA CITY! The Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization is proud to offer you nearly two weeks of excellent, one-of-a-kind, free, literary programming as part of the 2022 Iowa City Book Festival. Iowa City is a City of Literature for many reasons: The wonderful writing programs at the University of Iowa, our small presses and magazines, our wonderful libraries, our bookstores, and amenities like the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk.

The Iowa City Book Festival is organized by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, a nonprofit 501(c)3 that manages the Iowa City area’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature. The City of Literature works to advance its mission of celebrating and supporting literature on a local, regional, national, and international level, connecting readers and writers through the power of story.





Why Iowa City?

The oldest creative writing program in the country, and still regarded the best. More than forty Pulitzer Prize winners. North America’s only UNESCO City of Literature. How did the midwestern college town of Iowa City, Iowa become the capital of creative writing in America? Check out the City of Literature documentary to find out.

Support the Festival

The vast majority of City of Literature events are offered without charge, but they are not free. Your tax deductible donation gives us the ability to offer programs like this festival. Please consider supporting the City of Literature by making a donation today.

Watch previous recordings

Stay in the loop


* indicates required