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 ascending state
Writing Program University of Northern Iowa Creative Writing Iowa
Writing Program The Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa Iowa
Small Press The University of Iowa Press Iowa
Literary Magazine The Iowa Review Iowa
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore The Book Vine Iowa
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Prairie Lights Bookstore Iowa
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Paper Moon Books Iowa
Literary Magazine Open Field Iowa
Conference Iowa Summer Writing Festival Iowa
Writing Program Iowa State University MFA Program Iowa

poems

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
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