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Riverside’s ‘The Agitators’ a timely exploration of 19th century concerns that still plague us

Riverside Theater opened its first play of 2020 with an intense reminder of the importance of history, civil rights and activism. Jessica Link portrays Susan B. Anthony and Curtis M. Jackson is Fredrick Douglass in this retrospective of their friendship and political lives, which often found them at odds with one another. […]

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Sen. Joni Ernst emerges as a major Trump defender during the impeachment trial

Sen. Joni Ernst has proven to be one of President Trump’s leading defenders among the members of the Senate sitting as jury in Trump’s impeachment trial. As the trial has progressed since Tuesday, certain Republican senators have taken on roles as spokespeople, with each focusing on one pro-Trump talking point or set of talking points. […]

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Eat like your favorite 2020 candidate

Due to an influx of aspiring presidents every four years, many classic Iowa foods have been imbued with politics, from Iowa State Fair pork on a stick to Hamburg Inn pie shakes — even ranch! But Iowa has more to offer than the Midwest staples consumed on-camera by candidates pandering to the nation’s first caucusers. As White House […]

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Album Review: Brian Johannesen — ‘Holster Your Silver’

As I listened to Brian Johannesen’s Holster Your Silver this week, driving south on I-80 in the January dusk — a nearly full moon rising in the clear sky, plane contrails lining the sunset, bare trees silhouetted in the orange-pink-twilight blue — it hit me that dropping this standout album in deep winter makes all the sense in the world. […]

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‘Kids, let’s face it — they can be a tough audience’: Hancher to kick-off youth programming with Gina Chavez

Musician Gina Chavez is a study in synthesis. In a story familiar to many multi-ethnic Americans, she didn’t always have meaning or identity convenient to her. But she has made a life and a career of creating meaning, of pulling disparate elements in her life into communion with each other. “I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish,” Chavez said […]

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Why is Iowa first?

It’s a question that’s been asked with increasing frequency over the past four decades: Why does Iowa go first in the presidential nominating process? Is it because the state is a unique repository of American values? Or because Iowans are remarkable judges of character? As flattering as those explanations may be, neither is correct. The reason Iowa […]

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Weekender, Jan. 23: Four readings, three plays, two beer festivals and one nerdy con!

Weekender An extra-hefty selection of events this weekend. Click through the listings for Kiley Reid, Color Out of Space, The Color Purple, Emma Goldman Clinic, The Tin Woman, Chris Liddell-Westefeld and Garth Greenwell to read LV’s coverage and reviews! If you’d like to receive the Weekender in your inbox, sign up for the newsletter. Iowa […]

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How do kids learn to read? UI researchers hope their eye tracking study will provide insight

The education system evaluates teachers, facilities, budgets, curricula and students’ progress. But Bob McMurray believes there needs to be more to the discussion. “Does anybody talk about how children actually learn? Or about how children actually read?” McMurray, a University of Iowa professor of psychological and brain sciences, asked. “We don’t […]

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Book Review: ‘They Said This Day Would Never Come’ by Chris Liddell-Westefeld

Every president of the United States dominates public discourse so thoroughly that they almost erase their predecessor from the collective consciousness. No one has done that as thoroughly as Donald J. Trump. One has to think hard to remember the Obama presidency, given the relentless onslaught of dishonesty and brutish absurdity […]

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Book Review: ‘Cleanness’ by Garth Greenwell

Cleanness, the second book by Garth Greenwell (released Jan. 14, 2020), is exemplary. It provides rare rewards to its readers beyond the scope dared by many authors of contemporary literature. It demands much of the reader — not due to its difficulty, but in the unrelenting rigor of the narrator who patiently preserves the paradoxes of everyday […]

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