About

WELCOME TO IOWA CITY, the third UNESCO City of Literature in the world, and the only one in the United States. The Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization is proud to offer you eight days of literary programming as part of the 2017 Iowa City Book Festival.

Iowa City is a City of Literature for many reasons: The wonderful writing programs at the University of Iowa, our small presses and magazines, our wonderful libraries, our bookstores, and amenities like the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk. While you are here, we encourage you to explore all of this and more, to fully immerse yourself in our rich literary culture.

The Iowa City Book Festival is organized by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, a nonprofit 501(c)3 that manages the Iowa City area’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature. The City of Literature works to advance its mission of celebrating and supporting literature on a local, regional, national, and international level, connecting readers and writers through the power of story.

Why Iowa City?

The oldest creative writing program in the country, and still regarded the best. More than forty Pulitzer Prize winners. North America’s only UNESCO City of Literature. How did the midwestern college town of Iowa City, Iowa become the capital of creative writing in America? Check out the City of Literature documentary to find out.