Hailed by O the Oprah Magazine as "an attentive and precise writer who dazzles with natural and supernatural observations and lyrical details," bestselling author Jesmyn Ward will take part in a virtual conversation hosted by the Rock Island and Moline Public Libraries, her October 12 event treating participants to an audience with the talent lauded by Entertainment Weekly as "one of the most searing and singularly gifted writers working today."

One of the most famous and beloved comedies in the history of world theatre will enjoy a rousing comeback when Rock Island Augustana College stages Molière's 1664 classic Tartuffe, its October 13 through 16 bringing the French playwright's vision to life in a delightful, rhyme-scheme adaptation by Richard Wilbur that previously starred such acting legends as John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, and Joan Plowright.

The 1999 winner of the United Kingdom's Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, Conor McPherson's arresting and chilling drama The Weir enjoys an appropriate-for-Halloween run at Iowa City's Riverside Theatre from October 14 through 30, the work praised by the New York Times as “beautifully devious” and by the Evening Standard as “a modern masterpiece.”

With her professional recognition including an Emmy Award, two Peabody Awards, and 2009 citation as the National Association of Black Journalists' Journalist of the Year, Washington Post columnist and NPR host Michele Norris will speak at an October 19 Davenport RiverCenter event sponsored by public-radio station WVIK and the Joyce and Tony Singh Family Foundation, with Norris giving a keynote address on Intelligent Conversations: The Power of Words.

Presented in a collaboration between the University of Iowa International Writing Program, the German American Heritage Center, the Midwest Writing Center, and Rock Island's Rozz-Tox, the latter venue will host a special International Edition of the Midwest Writing Center's SPECTRA Reading Series on October 13, with the featured guests and readers being native German Tunay Őnder and Chinese native Chun Sue.

The talents of one of the area's most respected and educators will be on display at Rozz-Tox from October 7 through 30 when the Rock Island venue houses Peter Xiao's Thingamajigs & Right-Facing Nudes, a collection of new works by the gifted painter who has also taught drawing and painting at Rock Island's Augustana College since 1989.

A consistently popular and lauded presence on the Midwestern touring circuit, beloved folk singer/songwriter Cody Diekhoff – better known by his recording alias Chicago Farmer – headlines an October 13 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, the artist a soulful crooner and guitarist who inspired No Depression to rave, “If the Midwest is looking for a voice, the search is over.”

In a special October 13 presentation at Davenport's Figge Art Museum, Augustana College professor and longtime Quad City Symphony Orchestra musician Tony Oliver will perform the world premiere of composer James Romig's SPACES, an 80-minute composition for solo vibraphone – a ringing keyboard percussion instrument capable of conjuring a dreamy, contemplative atmosphere of gentle harmony and intriguing timbre.

Continuing the organization's run of arresting and joyous Third Sunday Jazz Workshop & Matinée Series concert events held in Bettendorf's Rivermont Collegiate, Polyrhythms presents an October 16 engagement with the talented musicians of Dushun Mosley’s “Trioverse” Band, a three-man ensemble composed of Rodderrick Pierre Pollard III, Steven C. Manns Jr., and percussionist bandleader Mosley.

Boasting what Americana Highways calls "maybe the most ruggedly pretty voice in Americana," singer/songwriter and acoustic guitarist John Moreland headlines an October 16 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, the artist's July rerelease Birds in the Ceiling inspiring Folk Alley to rave, "The beauty is that, listening to it, we feel as if we’re sitting in a room with him and he’s singing each song to us alone."