2021 Schedule

Billy Dean Thomas

Billy Dean Thomas (they/them), AKA “The Queer B.I.G” is a Hip-hop recording artist and producer born and raised in Harlem, but currently residing in Boston. Billy Dean challenges the music industry with quick-witted punchlines, that highlight intersectional feminism, social justice, and growing up in a gentrified city. Recently. named one of NPR’s 2020 Slingshot Artists […]

Donika Kelly

Donika Kelly is the author of the chapbook AVIARIUM (five hundred places) and the full-length collections THE RENUNCIATIONS (Graywolf 2021) and BESTIARY (Graywolf). BESTIARY is the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry, and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. The collection was also long-listed for the National Book Award […]

Gina Nutt

Gina Nutt is the author of the essay collection Night Rooms (Two Dollar Radio) and the poetry collection Wilderness Champion (Gold Wake Press). She earned her MFA from Syracuse University. Her writing has appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, Joyland, Ninth Letter, and other publications.

Nat Baldwin

Nat Baldwin is a bassist, improviser, and songwriter living in Portland, ME. His most recent solo works have been released as a series: AUTONOMIA I: Body Without Organs, AUTONOMIA II: Recombinations, and AUTONOMIA III: Endnotes. After releasing numerous solo albums of songs, the new works explore the intersections of free improvisation, new music, and noise. […]

Ami Dang

Amrita “Ami” Kaur Dang is a South Asian-American, Sikh composer, music producer, vocalist, and sitarist from Baltimore. Combining ideas from South Asian music with synthesizers, MIDI controllers, lighting design, and gestural movement, her work invites the audience to reframe their assumptions about the colonial history of music, the arts, technology, and performance and its place […]

Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor is the author of the novel Real Life, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the Booker Prize. His work has appeared in Guernica, American Short Fiction, Gulf Coast, Buzzfeed Reader, O: The Oprah Magazine, Gay Mag, The New Yorker online, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. He holds […]

Chuy Renteria
B-boy Original Beats

Chuy Renteria was raised in the town of West Liberty, IA. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Dance. A B-boy since the age of 14, he is a central figure in the Iowa dance scene. A latent interest in writing led to his stories being published in the anthology We […]

Andrea Gibson

“Andrea Gibson (they/them/their) is one of the most stirring and influential spoken word artists of our time. Best known for their live performances, in which they regularly sell out large capacity rock clubs and concert halls, Gibson has changed the landscape of what it means to attend a “poetry show” altogether. Gibson’s poems center around […]

SASAMI

“SASAMI (Sasami Ashworth) has been making music of every kind in Los Angeles for the last decade, from playing French horn in orchestras and studios to playing keys and guitar in local rock bands (Dirt Dress, Cherry Glazerr), and playing on albums by and doing arrangements for artists like Curtis Harding, Wild Nothing, and Vagabon. […]

MC Animosity

Steubenville, Ohio native MC Animosity is a Rapper/Producer/ and musician. He brings an East coast style and flavor to anything with a good beat. He’s been the lead vocalist for The Uniphonics since the band was formed in 2005. He has been involved in various music projects in Iowa City since 1998, including Hip hop […]

Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs […]

Japanese Breakfast

From the moment she began writing her new album, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner knew that she wanted to call it Jubilee. After all, a jubilee is a celebration of the passage of time—a festival to usher in the hope of a new era in brilliant technicolor. Zauner’s first two albums garnered acclaim for the way […]

Creek Eats

Each year for Mission Creek Festival welcomes community members and visitors to experience live performance, literary arts, and radical community happenings within intimate venues and spaces of downtown Iowa City. An important piece of each Mission Creek Festival is the memories and experiences made at a number of restaurants and pubs. While the festival remains […]

Billy Dean Thomas

Billy Dean Thomas (they/them), AKA “The Queer B.I.G” is a Hip-hop recording artist and producer born and raised in Harlem, but currently residing in Boston. Billy Dean challenges the music industry with quick-witted punchlines, that highlight intersectional feminism, social justice, and growing up in a gentrified city. Recently. named one of NPR’s 2020 Slingshot Artists […]

Nat Baldwin

Nat Baldwin is a bassist, improviser, and songwriter living in Portland, ME. His most recent solo works have been released as a series: AUTONOMIA I: Body Without Organs, AUTONOMIA II: Recombinations, and AUTONOMIA III: Endnotes. After releasing numerous solo albums of songs, the new works explore the intersections of free improvisation, new music, and noise. […]

Ami Dang

Amrita “Ami” Kaur Dang is a South Asian-American, Sikh composer, music producer, vocalist, and sitarist from Baltimore. Combining ideas from South Asian music with synthesizers, MIDI controllers, lighting design, and gestural movement, her work invites the audience to reframe their assumptions about the colonial history of music, the arts, technology, and performance and its place […]

SASAMI

“SASAMI (Sasami Ashworth) has been making music of every kind in Los Angeles for the last decade, from playing French horn in orchestras and studios to playing keys and guitar in local rock bands (Dirt Dress, Cherry Glazerr), and playing on albums by and doing arrangements for artists like Curtis Harding, Wild Nothing, and Vagabon. […]

MC Animosity

Steubenville, Ohio native MC Animosity is a Rapper/Producer/ and musician. He brings an East coast style and flavor to anything with a good beat. He’s been the lead vocalist for The Uniphonics since the band was formed in 2005. He has been involved in various music projects in Iowa City since 1998, including Hip hop […]

Japanese Breakfast

From the moment she began writing her new album, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner knew that she wanted to call it Jubilee. After all, a jubilee is a celebration of the passage of time—a festival to usher in the hope of a new era in brilliant technicolor. Zauner’s first two albums garnered acclaim for the way […]

Donika Kelly

Donika Kelly is the author of the chapbook AVIARIUM (five hundred places) and the full-length collections THE RENUNCIATIONS (Graywolf 2021) and BESTIARY (Graywolf). BESTIARY is the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry, and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. The collection was also long-listed for the National Book Award […]

Gina Nutt

Gina Nutt is the author of the essay collection Night Rooms (Two Dollar Radio) and the poetry collection Wilderness Champion (Gold Wake Press). She earned her MFA from Syracuse University. Her writing has appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, Joyland, Ninth Letter, and other publications.

Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor is the author of the novel Real Life, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the Booker Prize. His work has appeared in Guernica, American Short Fiction, Gulf Coast, Buzzfeed Reader, O: The Oprah Magazine, Gay Mag, The New Yorker online, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. He holds […]

Chuy Renteria
B-boy Original Beats

Chuy Renteria was raised in the town of West Liberty, IA. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Dance. A B-boy since the age of 14, he is a central figure in the Iowa dance scene. A latent interest in writing led to his stories being published in the anthology We […]

Andrea Gibson

“Andrea Gibson (they/them/their) is one of the most stirring and influential spoken word artists of our time. Best known for their live performances, in which they regularly sell out large capacity rock clubs and concert halls, Gibson has changed the landscape of what it means to attend a “poetry show” altogether. Gibson’s poems center around […]

Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs […]

Creek Eats

Each year for Mission Creek Festival welcomes community members and visitors to experience live performance, literary arts, and radical community happenings within intimate venues and spaces of downtown Iowa City. An important piece of each Mission Creek Festival is the memories and experiences made at a number of restaurants and pubs. While the festival remains […]