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Mission Creek Festival announces full 2016 literary line-up

Richard Siken

Author Richard Siken is MCF’s 2016 Writer-in-Residence

More than 30 events, mostly free, make up the literary track of this year’s Mission Creek Festival, which kicks off on Apr. 5. The emphasis is on “Literature Within & Beyond Text,” a concept highlighted by festival headliners Alison Bechdel, who rose to fame with her graphic memoir Fun Home (recently adapted into an award-winning Broadway musical) and Saul Williams, a renowned hip hop and spoken word artist whose latest album will be released in conjunction with a graphic novel.

Some of the Iowa City-based authors appearing will include poet Robyn Schiff, essayist and anthologist John D’Agata and novelist Garth Greenwell.

The festival also includes the sixth annual Lit Crawl (Friday, Apr. 8), the seventh annual Literary Magazine and Small Press Book Fair (Saturday, Apr. 9 at The Mill), and the very first ICE CREAM: The Iowa City Expo for Comics & Real Eclectic Alternative Media (Saturday, Apr. 9 at Public Space One).


Alison Bechdel
The Englert Theater — Apr. 5 at 7:30 p.m. (Free)

Kembrew McLeod & Lisa Jane Persky
FilmScene — Apr. 6 at 6 p.m. (Free)

Canarium Books Presents: Robyn Schiff & Mark Levine
Prairie Lights — Apr. 6 at 6 p.m. (Free)

A Conversation with Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
FilmScene — Apr. 6 at 7 p.m. (Free)

Paul Lisicky w. Garth Greenwell
Prairie Lights — Apr. 7 at 6 p.m. (Free)

Black Ocean 10th Anniversary: w. Janaka Stucky, Zachary Schomburg, Yonatan Gat, Kelly Schirmann & Anaïs Duplan
Yacht Club — Apr. 7 at 8 p.m. ($8)

6th Annual Lit Crawl
Downtown Iowa City — Apr. 8, 5-8 p.m. (Free)

More than 50 writers and 17 publishers from across the country again invade downtown Iowa City businesses for three hours of literary mayhem:

5–5:45 p.m.

Beadology (220 E. Washington St.): Rookie Magazine & Iowa Youth Writing Project
Forbidden Planet (111 S. Dubuque St.): Gulf Coast & CSU Poetry Center
NoDo (5 S. Dubuque St.): Curbside Splendor & MAKE Magazine
FilmScene (140 N. Linn St.): POETRY Magazine & Ugly Duckling Presse

6–6:45 p.m.

Fox Head Tavern (402 E. Market St.): Civil Coping Mechanisms & Entropy Magazine
White Rabbit (112 S. Linn St.): Two Dollar Radio
Dublin Underground (5 S. Dubuque St.): Forklift, Ohio & H_NGM_N

7–7:45 p.m.

HABA Salon (212 E. Market St.): Writers of Color
Motley Cow Cafe (160 N. Linn St.): Spork Press & Action Books

Peter Aguero w. Shannon Cason & Special Guests
The Mill — April 9 at 10 p.m. ($15)

7th Annual Literary Magazine & Small Press Book Fair
The Mill — Apr. 9, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Free)

Literary magazines and independent publishers from across the country and right here in Iowa City set up shop at The Mill for the 7th year in a row. The full list of participants is available here. The highlight reading, by Richard Siken, starts at 6 p.m. (see below).

ICE CREAM: The Iowa City Expo for Comics and Real Eclectic Media
Public Space One — Apr. 9, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. (Free)

A fair presenting the work of cartoonists, zinesters, and art books/handmade book artists.

The Making of the American Essay: John D’Agata & Richard Preston
Prairie Lights — Apr. 9 at 12 p.m. (Free)

Mission Boutique
Downtown Iowa City — Apr. 9, 2–5 p.m. (Free)

This year’s Mission Boutique will feature music/literature pairings at/outside downtown boutiques — including Jamie Iredell, Nat Baldwin, Jesse Nathan, Carola Dibbell and more.

Richard Siken w. Alexandra Kleeman, Jenny Zhang & Jose Orduna
The Mill — Apr. 9 at 6 p.m. (Free)

Mission Creek Festival’s 2016 Writer-in-Residence Richard Siken headlines the annual book fair capstone reading. Reading with him will be Alexandra Kleeman, Jenny Zhang and Jose Orduna.

earthwords Release Party
Prairie Lights — Apr. 9 at 7 p.m. (Free)

UI’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.

Saul Williams, Psalm One, Akwi Nji & Lovar Davis Kidd
The Mill — Apr. 9 at 8 p.m. ($15)

About The Author

Genevieve Trainor

Genevieve Trainor, Little Village’s arts editor, feels that personal bios are a bitter distillation of her deep and abiding struggles between sincerity and sarcasm.

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