LitCity Lore: Jane Smiley at the Mill Restaurant

With LitCity Lore, we periodically feature a story from our new LitCity website, which maps unique Iowa City literary stories to the locations where writers lived, worked, gave readings, socialized and were inspired by the town.

This week we are highlighting Jane Smiley’s time in Iowa City, and one of her specific haunts and hangouts: The Mill Restaurant. In an essay written exclusively for the Writing University, Smiley recalls her time at The Mill in vivid detail:

“When I met Steve, he was getting his BA in the art department, and was singing at the Mill with various partners. As I had spent college going to basketball games, so I spent most of my time in Iowa City in a booth at the Mill, listening to Steve or our friends play on the stage. He had a set of friends, too, not Workshoppers, but native Iowa Citians – a motorcycle club, fellow cooks and bartenders at the Mill, an art student or two, girls he dated and slept with, relatives. People from most of our friend groups lived with us off and on the whole time we rented the American Legion Road house. We also had cats and a Great Dane.”

Explore this story and more at the LitCity website.