I tend to feel a bit possessive of Hamburg Inn. It’s always the first stop for my boyfriend and me when he visits Iowa City, and I’m pretty convinced the pork tenderloin was created solely for my benefit. The magical thing about Hamburg, though, is that most of the people I know feel the same way. And, in Iowa City, we celebrate magical things by writing about them.
The Burg: A Writer’s Diner, curated by Marybeth Stonneger, launched this Tuesday, April 24, at Iowa City’s Hamburg Inn (214 N. Linn Street). Amid the center bar filled with free burgers, coffee and dessert, dozens milled around to socialize and claim their copy of the book. The Burg is a gorgeous volume of poems, short stories, drawings and poetry comics. The book opens and closes with several of Dave Morice’s commissioned short poems about the place, and it is filled with glossy black-and-white and color photographs of the historic diner and its patrons, past and present.
If you missed the launch party, on Tuesday, May 8, there will be a celebration and reading of The Burg: A Writer’s Diner at Prairie Lights bookstore. Contributors Marvin Bell, Paul Ingram, Robert McBrearty, Dr. Alphabet/Dave Morice, Gary Sanders and Mary Helen Stefaniak will read their contributions, and books will be available for sale and signing. Prairie Lights will be selling The Burg: A Writer’s Diner for$18.95, all profits from sales of the book will go to the Johnson County Heritage Trust.