Appearing locally in a pair of events sponsored by the Midwest Writing Center, award-winning author Marcus Wicker will be the guest at the Rock Island Public Library's July 18 poetry workshop and the Figge Art Museum's July 19 poetry readings. The internationally lauded author has received great praise by outlets worldwide, including the Paris Review, which wrote, “His poems find joy in language and nature, comfort in religion, and express both pride and vulnerability – often all in the same poem.”

With her most recent album Highway Queen lauded by The Guardian as “a boisterous collection of firecracker 'outlaw country,' singer/songwriter Nikki Lane headlines a June 30 Moeller Nights concert at Maquoketa' Codfish Hollow Barn, her performance sure to underscore why Rolling Stone labeled her songs “inspirations cased in a streetwise, modern shell that's as unapologetic as Johnny Cash's middle finger.”

Recently making the top five of the New York Times' list of “25 Best American Plays Since Angels in America,” author Bruce Norris' acclaimed comedic drama Clybourne Park will be staged at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre July 13 through 22, the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner described by the Hollywood Reporter as “provactive entertainment that generates as much uneasiness as laughter.”

The up-and-coming yet already widely acclaimed country and Americana band Roanoke headlines the Redstone Room's RME Member Appreciation Show on July 18 in support of the group's self-titled album, a debut release by that The Huffington Post called “brimming with optimism, youthful exuberance, and creative energy.”

Reviewing Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie in the New York Times, Ben Brantley asked,“How can something be this delicate and this strong, so elusive and yet so tenacious?” Those qualities will all be in force when the Mississippi Bend Players stage this enduring, Tony Award-winning classic at Augustana College, its July 13 through 22 run demonstrating why the Times called it “a perfect play.”

From July 14 through September 9, new works by a prominent Iowa City artist will be on display in the Figge Art Museum's Laurel Farrin: No Particular Order, a collection of abstract, geometric, and frequently humorous images by a talent widely praised in publications including the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and Time Out NY.

Continuing its 50th-anniversary season of audience-favorite revivals, Geneseo's Richmond Barn Theatre will present, from July 12 through 22, author Jack Popplewell's mystery-comedy Busybody with Jackie Skiles returning to her beloved 2009 role as Cockney housekeeper Lily, a turn that inspired the River Cities' Reader to rave, “Beyond the beauty of her timing, everything about the actress' portrayal is right on the money.”

Praised by Rolling Stone as an artist who “playfully croons through tales of love and mischief with girlish breath and devilish twang,” the Canadian-American country singer/songwriter/guitarist Whitney Rose headlines a Moeller Nights concert on July 12, indicating why Paste magazine wrote, “Her voice, a gentle and unassuming croon, gives her music a quiet caress, making [Rose's songs] effortlessly engaging each time out.”

Exhibits, displays, games, cookouts, fireworks, local and national country musicians, and even a beauty contest for trucks will be on hand in the 39th Annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree, the July 12 through 14 event held at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop in celebration of America's big rigs and those who drive them.

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