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Elizabeth Berg to headline the Iowa City Book Festival, July 15-17

Novelists Elizabeth Berg and Jane Hamilton, journalist and historian Adam Goodheart, and poets Camille Dungy and Robyn Schiff are among a rich lineup of writers who will take part in the Iowa City Book Festival (ICBF) this summer, the University of Iowa Libraries announced today.

The ICBF is a three-day celebration of books, reading and writing presented by UI Libraries Friday, July 15 through Sunday, July 17. The book festival will begin on Friday with an author dinner in the Main Library. Saturday is festival day in Gibson Square with booksellers, music, children’s activities, food vendors, book arts demonstrations and readings and panel discussions. Sunday will be “A Day in the City of Literature.” Local businesses of all kinds throughout Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty will participate with readings and special activities all day.

Berg will be the keynote speaker for the ICBF Author Dinner on Friday; she will also present a public program on Saturday as part of the Shambaugh Auditorium Author Series. Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, two collections of short stories and two works of nonfiction. “Open House” was an Oprah’s Book Club selection, “Durable Goods” and “Joy School” were selected as American Library Association Best Books of the Year, and “Talk Before Sleep” was short-listed for an American Booksellers Book of the Year Award. Her writing has been translated into 27 languages and she adapted her novel “Pull of the Moon” into a play that has been successfully performed on two stages in the Chicago area.

Hamilton will appear on Sunday with Paul Ingram from Prairie Lights for an ICBF edition of Paul’s Book Club. Hamilton’s first novel, “The Book of Ruth,” won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel and was a selection of the Oprah Book Club. Her second novel, “A Map of the World,” was an international bestseller.

Goodheart will appear as part of the Shambaugh Auditorium Series. He is regular columnist for The New York Times’ acclaimed Civil War series, “Disunion.” His new work, “1861: The Civil War Awakening,” will be published in April. Goodheart is a historian, journalist and travel writer. His articles have appeared in National Geographic, Outside, Smithsonian, The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. He is also the director of Washington College’s C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

Stephanie Kallos, author of “Sing Them Home,” the 2011 All Iowa Reads selection, will present on Saturday in the Shambaugh Auditorium Series. She has received the Raymond Carver Award and a Pushcart Prize nomination for her short fiction. Kallos’ first novel, “Broken for You,” won the Washington State Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and was chosen as a “Today Show” book club selection. “Sing Them Home” was a Pacific Northwest Independent Bookseller bestseller and a January 2009 IndieNext pick.

Festival programming on Saturday also includes UI Press award-winning authors Will Boast, “Power Ballads”; Julie Hanson, “Unbeknownst”; Thisbe Nissen, “The Good People of New York”; Josh Rolnick, “Pulp and Paper”; and Don Waters, “Desert Gothic.”

Fiction writers featured at the ICBF are Bonnie Jo Campbell, “Once Upon a River: A Novel”; Gregg Hurwitz, “You’re Next: A Novel”; Jeremy Jackson, “Hot Lunch”; Julie Kramer “Silencing Sam”; David Mullins, “Greetings from Below: Stories”; and Mary Helen Stefaniak, “The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia: A Novel.”

Nonfiction writers include Jerry Harp, “For Us, What Music?: The Life and Poetry of Donald Justice”; John T. Price, “Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships”; and Robin Romm, “The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks.”

Poets Camille Dungy, “Suck on Marrow”; Robyn Schiff, “Revolver” will headline the poetry readings.

In addition to children’s book characters and other hands-on activities for kids, the ICBF has expanded programming by inviting children’s and young adult authors: Ibtisam Barakat, “Al-Ta’ Al-Marbouta Tateer (Flight of the Tied T)”; Linda Gerdner, “Grandfather’s Story Cloth”; Claudia McGehee, “Where Do Birds Live?”; Sarah Prineas, “The Magic Thief”; Laurel Snyder, “Penny Dreadful”; and Tess Weaver, “Opera Cat.”

The UI Libraries again is partnering with the UI Press, Iowa City Public Library, the UNESCO City of Literature and Prairie Lights Book Store to organize ICBF. The ICBF receives significant support from Humanities Iowa as well as the Community Foundation of Johnson County, the City of Iowa City and MidWestOne Bank.

For more information about the ICBF, to register as a vendor at the festival or to submit a program idea for the Day in the City of Literature activities, please check the website: