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Van Allen Hall

Van Allen Hall

ADDRESS
30 North Dubuque Street

Home to many readings and events for writers in Iowa City, Van Allen Hall is a manifestation of both the University of Iowa’s strong support of the sciences and the critical importance of its namesake’s work. An observatory is visible above the roofline, and the building’s auditorium — a single-story, slab-roof-covered auditorium attached to a multi-use, multistory structure – makes Van Allen visually consistent with other buildings on the Iowa Avenue Campus.

Stories
Audio

John D’Agata, Live from Prairie Lights, February 10, 2010

UI nonfiction writing faculty member John D’Agata reads from About a Mountain. A Publishers Weekly starred review of About a Mountain stated, “In this circuitous, stylish investigation, D’Agata (‘Halls of Fame’) uses the federal government’s highly controversial (and recently rejected) proposal to entomb the U.S.’s nuclear waste located in Yucca Mountain, near Las Vegas, as his way into a spiraling and subtle examination of the modern city, suicide, linguistics, Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream,’ ecological and psychic degradation, and the gulf between information and knowledge.

“Acting as a counterpoint to Yucca is the story of a teenager named Levi who leapt to his death off Las Vegas’ Stratosphere Motel. It is testament to D’Agata’s skillful organization of the book, broken into Who, What, When, Where, and Why, and his use of a rapid sequences of montages — Levi’s suicide is spliced with Orwellian Congressional debates on the stability of Yucca Mountain — that readers will be pleasurably (and perhaps necessarily) disoriented but never distracted from the themes knitting together the ostensibly unrelated voices of Native American activists, politicians, geologists, Levi’s parents, D’Agata’s own mother, and a host of zany Las Vegans. ” A sublime reading experience, aesthetically rewarding and marked by moral courage and humility.”


Place

John Irving: Van Allen Hall

The event was originally scheduled to take place in the Van Allen Lecture Hall on the UI campus, but due to the overflow crowd and potential fire hazard, the event was moved to another venue a minute before the 8:15 pm start time. The announcement prompted Irving aficionados to take to the streets of Iowa City and head toward the Pappajohn Business Building with the hope of commandeering a seat for the legendary alumni writer. The mass exodus of people momentarily shut down traffic on Dubuque Street as the literary mob, undeterred by the threat of jaywalking charges, blindly marched across one of the main downtown arteries.

Lindsey, T.M. “John Irving Immortalizes Iowa City in Upcoming Model.” Iowa Independent , 13 Mar. 2013, iowaindependent.com/2088/john-irving-immortalizes-iowa-city-in-upcoming-novel.


Place

Louise Glück reading at the University of Iowa

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Louise Glück, Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor at The University of Iowa, will read from her work at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 9, 2016 in lecture room 2 of Van Allen Hall.

A former faculty member of the UI Writers’ Workshop, Glück was U.S. poet laureate in 2003–04. Her reading, sponsored by the Writers’ Workshop and the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program, will be free and open to the public.

Barclay, Winston. “Pulitzer Prize-winner, Former U.S. Poet Laureate Glück Will Read April 9.” The University of Iowa News Services. The University of Iowa, 28 Mar. 2008. Web. 15 July 2016.


Audio

Philip Levine reading, The University of Iowa, late 20th century

Philip Levine reading, The University of Iowa, late 20th century

Iowa Digital Library, Virtual Writing University Archive