Lit City

Lit City is an Iowa Public Radio podcast that highlights some of the year’s best fiction and nonfiction. Episodes feature interviews with authors, commentary on their books, and glimpses into the sights, sounds, and history of Iowa’s literary landscape. Join us every Thursday for this ten-episode series created right here in the United States’ only UNESCO City of Literature.

Joshua and Lori Kagavi

In this episode of Lit City, we take an irreverent stroll down Iowa City's famed Literary Walk before focusing in on some athletes and artists whose stories haven't yet been commemorated in bronze.

First we hear the tragic stories of some of Iowa's first African-American college football players from Jaime Schultz, Associate Professor of Kinesiology at Penn State and author of Moments of Impact: Injury, Racialized Memory, and Reconciliation in College Football. 

Marketa / Flickr

Why do you read?  

In Episode Six of Lit City we hear answers to this question from some of the City of Literature's most devoted readers... and writers.  We also learn about the mass popularity of the counterculture spirit from Mike Klassen, associate professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and author of the book Hippie Inc.

Macmillan

In Episode Five of Lit City, we talk to Jan Weissmiller, co-owner of famed Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City, about the connection between music and literature that was recently brought to light by Bob Dylan's receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature. Then we hear from another musical writer -- John Darnielle of the indie folk band The Mountain Goats -- about his latest novel Universal Harvester.

In Episode Four of Lit City, we begin with a quest to find the most beloved book in the City of Literature. Then we hear from Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, backstage at the Englert Theatre.  Join us as he talks to Charity about his time teaching middle school, his decision to promote diversity through his books, and the expansion of the Rick Riordan universe.

H. Armstrong Roberts / Classic Stock/Corbis

In Episode Three of Lit City, we visit Prairie Lights bookstore and talk with Lauren Haldeman, a local poet who is creating a web app that tracks the footsteps of authors in the City of Literature. Then we'll hear from Erika Janik about her book  Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction. One of those fictional lady detectives, Nancy Drew, was created by Iowa native Millie Benson.

Lit City Episode Two: Doubt and Persistence

Feb 16, 2017
Brandon Chew / NPR

In Episode Two of Lit City, we talk with University of Iowa English Professor Loren Glass about the original site of the experiment known as the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Charity also interviews Ethan Canin, author of  A Doubter's Almanac and F. Wendell Miller Professor of English and Creative Writing at the Workshop. And speaking of doubters, we hear Charity's reaction to Anna's picks for the Lit City theme song.

Podcast: Lit City, A Debut Episode About a Debut Novel

Feb 10, 2017

Lit City is a new podcast from Iowa Public Radio hosted by Charity Nebbe and Anna Williams. Each episode features some of the best interviews we've done with fiction and nonfiction writers and, along the way, gives listeners a glimpse of Iowa's own City of Literature.

In the first episode we hear from Nathan Hill, Iowa native and debut author of The Nix, which was named a 2016 Notable Book by The New York Times and The Washington Post.