In a Time of Witness Readings and Reception

In a Time of Witness Readings and Reception promotional image

Hear some of the celebrated contributors of In a Time of Witness read from their poems, short stories, and essays with the artworks that inspired their writing.

Reception with light refreshments to follow.

Beyond a traditional museum exhibition catalogue, this unprecedented interdisciplinary project features 31 writers—alumni of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, International Writing Program, and Literary Translation Program—who contributed original literary responses to artworks they chose from the Stanley’s permanent collection. These writers are among the most celebrated of our time, including former U.S. poet laureates Rita Dove (1977MFA, 2022LHD), Joy Harjo (1978MFA), and Juan Felipe Herrera (1990MFA); and groundbreaking fiction writers like Adam Haslett (1999MFA), Carmen Maria Machado (2012MFA), and Yiyun Li (2000MS, 2005MFA). Iowa Writers’ Workshop professor emerita Marilynne Robinson (2017LHD) writes the foreword. In a Time of Witness will be distributed by University of Iowa Press. Pre-order your copy now.


FRIDAY, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. The weekend’s festivities will kick off with a launch party at the Stanley Museum of Art to celebrate the publication of the catalog. The event will be accompanied by live music from Ramin Roshandel & Jean-François Charles along with light appetizers and refreshments.

SATURDAY, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. Contributors will engage in a reading followed by a gallery walk focused on the artworks featured in the catalog. The event will be accompanied by light refreshments.

SUNDAY, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. Jeff Martin will be in conversation with a panel of guest speakers to discuss the catalog. The live podcast will be conducted in the museum lobby, followed by a Q&A.

Saturday, September 23, 2023 1:00pm
Stanley Museum of Art
160 West Burlington Street, Iowa City, IA 52242
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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Kimberly Datchuk in advance at 319-384-1727 or