The University of Iowa

Mission Creek Festival 2015 Literary Line Up

Mission Creek will host more than 30 literary events in multiple venues in downtown Iowa City. The festival begins March 31 and ends April 5.

Events will highlight artists at the cutting edge of contemporary publishing, including readings by emerging and award-winning authors; outreach events to schools and community organizations; lectures and discussions; art collaborations; a publisher's 10th-anniversary celebration; and Mission Creek's fifth annual Lit Crawl on April 3 featuring nine readings and more than 50 authors in three hours.

Mission Creek's literary organizers also are joining forces with the festival's foodie-track planners to offer a food-writing course.

In addition to participating in literary reading events, Mission Creek Festival's Writer in Residence Kiese Laymon will engage more deeply with the Iowa City community, working with the Iowa Youth Writing Program at Tate School, and connecting with the Dream Center and the University of Iowa's undergraduate writing community. Laymon will headline the festival's capstone reading at the Mill on April 4.

Other writers and publishers who will be featured include Eula Biss, Lorrie Moore, Ander Monson, Luis Alberto Urrea, Jeff Chang, Jessica Hopper, Tom Lutz, Porochista Khakpour, Patricia Lockwood, Amelia Gray, Matt Rassmussen, Christopher Beha, Kerry Howley, Janaka Stucky, Sarah Gerard, Chloe Caldwell, Bennett Sims, Jenny Zhang, Monica McClure, Ben Fama, Niina Pollari, Eric Amling, DJ Dolack, POETRY Magazine, Third Man Records & Books, Black Ocean, Bomb Magazine, Birds LLC, Rookie Magazine, Lucky Peach, Pitchfork Magazine, Ugly Duckling Presse, Curbside Splendor, Spork Press and Two Dollar Radio.

Full literary schedule for Mission Creek Festival

Ander Monson: 6 p.m. March 31 at Prairie Lights. Free.

Luis Alberto Urrea: 5 p.m. April 1 at the Steven Vail Gallery. Free.

Canarium Books Presents: Michael Morse & Emily Wilson: 6 p.m. April 1 at Prairie Lights. Free.

Wanderlust: A Lecture by L.A. Review of Books Editor Tom Lutz: 3 p.m. April 2 at Prairie Lights. Free.

Sarabande Books Presents: Kerry Howley & Arna Bontemps Hemenway: 6 p.m. April 2 at Prairie Lights. Free.

Lorrie Moore: 8 p.m. April 2 in Van Allen Hall lecture room 2. Free. This event is presented by the University of Iowa's Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Mission Print: Publishing Through a Digital Landscape: 3 p.m. April 3 at Prairie Lights. Free. A panel of Editors featuring Tom Lutz (L.A. Review of Books), Christopher Beha (Harper's) and Jessica Hopper (Pitchfork Magazine) will be present.

5th Annual Lit Crawl: 5 to 8 p.m. April 3 throughout downtown Iowa City. Free. Writers and publishers from across the country again invade downtown Iowa City businesses for three hours of literary mayhem. In all, more than 60 authors will represent more than 15 publishers, including Two Dollar Radio, Black Ocean, Third Man Records, Rookie Magazine, Hobart, One Teen Story, Forklift Ohio, Birds LLC, Ugly Duckling Presse, Curbside Splendor, as well as MFA candidates from the University of Iowa's Anthology Reading Series, and more.

6th Annual Literary Magazine & Small Press Book Fair: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 3 at The Mill. Free. Small presses and literary magazines will set up shop in Iowa City for the sixth year in a row, representing some of the most exciting work in publishing today including Two Dollar Radio, Black Ocean, Bomb Magazine, Third Man Records, Rookie Magazine, Hobart, One Teen Story, Forklift Ohio, Birds LLC, Ugly Duckling Presse, Curbside Splendor, Spork Press, The Iowa Review, Rescue Press, UI Press, Canarium, Pitchfork Magazine, H_NGM_N, Prompt Press, [PANK] Magazine and more.

Eula Biss: Noon April 3 at Prairie Lights. Free.

Mission Boutique: 2 to 4 p.m. April 3 throughout downtown Iowa City. Free. This year's Mission Boutique will feature readings and music at four downtown boutiques, including Lauren Haldeman and Candida Pagan.

Keise Laymon with Amelia Gray, Patricia Lockwood and Sarah Gerard: 6 p.m. April 3 at The Mill. Free. Our annual book fair capstone reading this year features four young authors. Headlining the event, Mission Creek Festival's 2015 Writer-in-Residence Kiese Laymon will cap off a week of community outreach in Iowa City with his own powerful reading. Before Kiese takes the stage at the Mill, Sarah Gerard will read from her much-anticipated book "Binary Star," we'll hear poetry from "the smutty-metaphor queen of Lawrence, Kansas" (NY Times) Patricia Lockwood, and longtime MCF friend Amelia Gray will catch us up on her latest, Gutshot.

Earthwords Release Party: 7 p.m. April 3 at Prairie Lights. Free. The University of Iowa's oldest undergraduate literary magazine, earthwords, releases an issue featuring the best in undergraduate fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, photography and art from student writers across campus.


Celebrating its tenth year with the 2015 festival, Mission Creek is dedicated to inspiring and building the arts and culture community in Eastern Iowa. Programming focuses on literary readings, music performances, comedic performances, film screenings, public lectures, local food culture, and educational outreach. Each year the festival utilizes the existing cultural geography of Iowa City – bookstores, clothing stores, performance venues, restaurants, and movie theaters – turning the downtown into an easily-navigated nexus of music, art, and transformative experiences. The festival dates are March 31 – April 5, 2015. Venues include but are not limited to: Blue Moose Taphouse, The Englert Theatre, Gabe’s, The Mill, Yacht Club, and Trumpet Blossom Cafe. Most events will be within about five minutes walking of other events.


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