Monday, March 31, 2014

The Mission Creek Festival and Prairie Lights Books will present a free reading by Iowa Writers' Workshop alumnus Kyle Minor and University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program alumna Angela Pelster at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in Prairie Lights Books in downtown Iowa City. The reading also will be streamed live on the University of Iowa Writing University website.

Minor will read from his short story collection, Praying Drunk. He is the winner of the 2012 Iowa Review Prize for Short Fiction, and is the author of In Devil's Territory. His work has appeared in The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review,, Best American Mystery Stories 2008, Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers, and Forty Stories.

Praying Drunk gets the whole thing down: the cosmic muck and the local glory, the big questions and the tiny lives, the bullies and the saviors, the screaming at the sky and the lights by the side of the road late at night on a long drive. I finished this book with my heart pounding and grateful, my coffee cold and my smile wide and crying like a baby,” says Daniel Handler (best known for work under the pen name Lemony Snicket).

Pelster will read from her essay collection, Limber, which charts the world's history through its trees: through roots in the ground, rings across wood, and inevitable decay. These essays move from her childhood in rural Canada surrounded by skinny poplar trees in her backyard to a desert in Niger, where the “Loneliest Tree in the World” once grew. A squirrel's decomposing body below a towering maple prompts a discussion of the science of rot, as well as a metaphor for the ways in which nature programs us to consume ourselves.

Pelster's essays have appeared in Granta, The Gettysburg Review, Seneca Review, and others. She is the author of the children’s book The Curious Adventures of India Sophia. She lives with her family in Baltimore, where she teaches at Towson University.

The Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Nonfiction Writing Program are part of the UI 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, call 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.