More than a dozen prominent Iowa City writers are taking part in readings this weekend in hopes of raising at least $10,000 dollars for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and the Virgin Islands.
Jan Weissmiller, a coowner of the Prairie Lights bookstore, is co-hosting the event. She says it will be an excellent way for the community to hear great literary voices while helping with relief efforts.
“We’re just hoping that they’ll be people from all different parts of the community coming out,” Weissmiller says. “We anticipate that they’ll be young people. We’re contacting the schools and we’re contacting the churches. We just feel like this will be a really cross-current of Iowa City culture at the event, too. That’s always a good thing.” All money raised will go directly to the American Red Cross. Tickets are by donation, with the suggested level of $10.
“We just feel like we need to do something and this is a way for the community to be able to participate, to be able to donate at a level they feel comfortable donating,” she says. “Also to get to know some of the work and personal voices of people who live among us.” Some of the writers participating in the event on Sunday include Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson, Iowa’s first poet laureate Marvin Bell and Lan Samantha Chang, director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
(Thanks to Sarah Boden, Iowa Public Radio/Photo by Jim Forest)