Iowa

In 2009, Governor Chet Culver appointed Mary Swander the Poet Laureate of the State of Iowa. Swander is the author of four books of poetry, her most recent being The Girls on the Roof (Turning Point/Word Tech, 2009), a Mississippi River flood narrative.

recent & featured listings

type namesort descending state
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Beaverdale Books Iowa
Writing Program Cornell College Department of English Iowa
Literary Magazine Flyway Iowa
Literary Organization Humanities Iowa Iowa
Literary Organization Iowa Arts Council Iowa
Conference Iowa Poetry Out Loud Iowa
Writing Program Iowa State University MFA Program Iowa
Conference Iowa Summer Writing Festival Iowa
Literary Magazine Open Field Iowa
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Paper Moon Books Iowa

poems

poem
A few hours after Des Moines
the toilet overflowed.
This wasn't the adventure it sounds.

I sat with a man whose tattoos
weighed more than I did.
He played Hendrix on mouth guitar.
His Electric Ladyland lips
weren't fast enough
and if pitch and melody
are the rudiments of music,
this was just
memory, a body
poem
All night I flew the dark recess of God's mind.
It was arranged like Iowa fields--

not a damn thing missing.
You ask how I survived.

I lived on a message, broad light
at the end of the world.

Words, they have so much in common with departure,

the clouds elliptical & nervous.
Why translate? It's just a