Monday, March 10, 2014

University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program and Writers’ Workshop graduate Julene Bair will read from her ecological memoir of the high plains, The Ogallala Road, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 13, in a free reading at Prairie Lights Books in downtown Iowa City. The reading also will be streamed live on the University of Iowa Writing University website.

ogallala road cover

The Ogallala Road deals with a crucial farming issue—water. Each growing season her family—like other irrigators—pumps over 200 million gallons out of the Ogallala aquifer. The rapidly disappearing aquifer is the sole source of water on the vast western plains, and her family's role in its depletion haunts her. As traditional ways of life collide with industrial realities, Bair must dramatically change course.

“No one who reads this book will remain unchanged or unaffected—Julene Bair’s story arcs from the cornfields of Kansas and Nebraska to the food on our tables and the gas in our cars,” says Jonis Agee, author of The River Wife. “There is always a price to be paid, she reminds us, for the pleasures and comforts of this day. If you read only one memoir this year, this is the one to read and pass along.”

Bair’s first book, One Degree West: Reflections of a Plainsdaughter, won Mid-List Press’s First Series Award and a WILLA Award from Women Writing the West.

The Nonfiction Writing Program and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop are part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend this reading, contact Jan Weissmiller at Prairie Lights in advance at 319-337-2681.

For a UI arts calendar and details about upcoming events visit the Arts Iowa website.