Live from Prairie Lights: Kembrew McLeod
Author, documentary producer, Roboprofessor, and cultural critic Kembrew McLeod will read and show images from his new book, The Downtown Pop Underground: New York City and the Literary Punks, Renegade Artists, DIY Filmmakers, Mad Playwrights, and Rock 'n' Roll Glitter Queens—a kaleidoscopic tour of a small geographic area had an outsized impact on American culture during the 1960s and 1970s.
"Downtown New York in the latter half of twentieth century was so much more than a Warhol print and a CBGB-OMFUG T-shirt. McLeod tracked down more than 100 denizens of that freaky bohemian milieu to tell the stories most people don't know. The Downtown Pop Underground breathes new fire into a familiar history and is a must-read for anyone who wants to know how American bohemia really happened.” — Ann Powers, NPR Music
“The Downtown Pop Underground honors those who were at the forefront of a movement that transformed our understandings of sexuality and artistic freedom.” —Lily Tomlin
McLeod is an award-winning author of several books whose writing has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Slate, and Salon. A professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa, he is the recipient of a recent NEH Public Scholar fellowship to support this project. He lives in Iowa City.