Iowa Citian serving as faculty member of Iowa Summer Writing Festival
Thursday, June 7, 2012

Iowa Citian Mary Vermillion, the author of the Mara Gilgannon mystery series, will present a free reading at 7 p.m., Monday, June 18, in Prairie Lights Books and on the University of Iowa's Writing University website.

Mary Vermillion

Vermillion, who is teaching in the UI's 2012 Iowa Summer Writing Festival, has been a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards, and her third novel, Seminal Murder, has just been published.

The gist of Seminal Murder: When Dr. Grace Everest is murdered in her own sperm bank, Mara Gilgannon attempts to find the killer and to protect a beloved ex who is desperately seeking motherhood.

So what if Mara herself has 858 reasons (and counting) never to have children? She didn't let that stop her when she and Grace launched a radio series on artificial insemination. And she won't let anyone stop her from completing the series and discovering the truth about her friend's murder.Not the thief who trashes her office. Not her flamboyant housemate who invites a top suspect to crash with them. Not the 15-year-old who wants Mara to help find her donor dad. And especially not conservative Christian activist the Rev. Leo Spires.

As Spires heightens his campaign against the radio station where Mara works and the sperm bank where the murder occurred, Mara discovers a new mystery at the bank itself—an unusually low pregnancy rate for lesbians.

Vermillion earned her doctorate at the UI and now teaches English at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids.

For more information, please visit her website. And for accommodations at the Prairie Lights event, contact