Iowa

Illustration by Kagan McLeod

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The Iowa City Book Festival began as a thank-you to local residents, who in 2008 showed up by the hundreds at the University of Iowa Library to rescue the collection from rising flood waters. Iowa City is home to so many influential literary institutions, it is known as the Athens of the Midwest. This year's presenters include authors Elizabeth Berg (Open House), Jane Hamilton (The Book of Ruth, A Map of the World), and Stephanie Kallos (Sing Them Home). On Saturday Gibson Square is packed with readings, panels, booksellers, and book arts demonstrations. On Sunday, "A Day in the City of Literature," local businesses host book-themed events. Except for the opening night authors' dinner, it's all free.

July 15–17, iowacitybookfestival.org
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