June 8, 2011
Streams of June 20-24 readings including Summer Writing Festival faculty
Live streams of "Live from Prairie Lights" readings on the University of Iowa's Writing University website -- http://www.writinguniversity.org -- June 20-24 will include Iowa Summer Writing Festival faculty member Christine Hemp, whose poetry has traveled 1.7 billion miles on a NASA spacecraft.
The streams, originating as free events in Prairie Lights, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City, are:
--Novelist Tim Schaffert will read from "Coffins of Little Hope" at 7 p.m. Monday, June 20.
In his fourth novel, Schaffert tells the story of Essie, an octogenarian obituary writer for her family's small town newspaper. When a young country girl is reported to be missing, perhaps whisked away by an itinerant aerial photographer, he stumbles onto the story of her life.
"Devils in the Sugar Shop," Schaffert's previous novel, was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and a Book Sense pick from the American Booksellers Association. A faculty member at the University of Nebraska, he has won the Henfield Award and the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award, and has been short-listed for the O. Henry Prize. He is a contributing editor for Fairy Tale Review and the web editor of Prairie Schooner. Visit timothyschaffert.com for more information.
He has published related essays and criticism in the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, the Progressive, the Believer and Real Simple. His one-act plays "Phonies" and "Wayside" have been produced at Alley Stage in Mineral Point, Wis. Visit http://www.deanbakopoulos.com.
"That Fall," Hemp's poetry chapbook, won an award at Finishing Line Press, and she has read her commentary and poems on NPR's "Morning Edition. She has received an Iowa Review Award for Literary Nonfiction, the Harvard University Conway Award for teaching writing, the 2010 Paula Jones Gardiner Award for Poetry at Floating Bridge Press and a Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship for her memoir in progress.
One of her poems traveled 1.7 billion miles in space on a NASA mission to monitor the pre-natal activity of stars.
The novel opens as Mary Walker returns to her deceased parents' summer home with her new husband, Michael. The isolated house, barely accessible by road, is nestled in the valley below the densely forested Cascom Mountain, and, within a few pages, Michael falls to his death up on the mountain, leaving Mary to be consoled by characters facing trials of their own.
Robert Olmstead, the author of "Coal Black Horse," wrote, "Here in are the qualities of enduring greatness, our turbulent natures, instructions for life. Inside these covers there's a woman's profound love, a terrible and beautiful world, the claw of grief. Her story is told with grace and dignity and the kind of writing we hunger for: straight and true, spare and generous."
In "Chasing Chiles," Friese looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper -— from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.
Friese is author of "A Cook's Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland" and owner and founding chef of the Devotay restaurant in Iowa City. He is owner and publisher of Edible Iowa River Valley magazine, a board of directors member for Slow Food USA, and a graduate and former chef-instructor at the New England Culinary Institute. Visit his blog at http://www.kurtfriese.com, and read a feature at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/garden/07garden.html?_r=2.
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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500