Prairie Lights hosts poetry reading from two Iowa graduates


David Harmantas

Prairie Lights bookstore on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduates Chris Glomski and Geoffrey Hilsabeck will read from their most recent collections of poetry at Prairie Lights at 7p.m. today.

Glomski will read from his third collection of poetry, *Lit Up*, published by the Cultural Society last fall. Hilsabeck will read from his début collection of poetry, Riddles, etc.

Hilsabeck has dedicated his collection to his teachers. Glomski said in an email to The Daily Iowan that his writing has been influenced by his time at the Writers’ Workshop and the experiences he had in Iowa City.

“Endless conversations with classmates about writing were hugely important,” he said. “These took place not only in the classroom but on Iowa City streets, in restaurants and taverns, and in the apartments we lived in.”

Prairie Lights will host the event as part of “Live from Prairie Lights.” The series has become internationally known and has featured writers from all over the globe.

Kathleen Johnson, the Prairie Lights events coordinator, said the bookstore strives to celebrate writers.

“We’re always really excited to have Writers’ Workshop graduates come back to read because it’s good for them … to come back to where they studied,” Johnson said. “And it’s really good for current students …to be exposed to their work.”

Hilsabeck, who attended the Workshop from 2007 to 2009, noted the effect the UI has made on his writing. He said Mark Levine, associate professor with whom he studied at the Workshop, has influenced his writing.

“It was pretty foundational in various ways, largely from the people I met,” Hilsabeck said. “I had some really great teachers … who taught me to look at poems and look at my own poems in ways that I still use.”

The reading will offer students and community members the opportunity to hear Glomski and Hilsabeck deliver their poetry in spoken word.

“Poetry, I find, is its own animal … poetry has its own demands; it’s more demanding,” Hilsabeck said.

Though the two poets have not worked together before, they both shared an excitement about being able to share their work with each other in addition to the Iowa City community.

“I haven’t worked with Geoffrey Hilsabeck, but I’ve been looking at some of his work and find it really interesting,” Glomski said.

Hilsabeck noted poetry’s uniqueness to each author and how the each poet’s discipline in writing is different.

“Poets are doing so many different kinds of things, and it’s so diffuse … poetry culture is so diffuse,” Hilsabeck said.

Glomski and Hilsabeck said they look forward to sharing their work with a community that has affected their writing, and they spoke fondly of Iowa City and the university.

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