Iowa

In 1999, Iowa established a state poet laureate position, which is currently held by Mary Swander, who was appointed in 2009. Swander is the author of many collections of poetry, including Driving the Body Back (University of Iowa Press, 1998).

recent & featured listings

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Literary Organization Humanities Iowa Iowa
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Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Beaverdale Books Iowa
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore The Book Vine Iowa
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Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Prairie Lights Bookstore Iowa
Literary Magazine The Iowa Review Iowa
Literary Magazine Open Field Iowa
Literary Magazine Flyway Iowa
Small Press The University of Iowa Press 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
poem

 

Before there was the time we see
there was the time we saw through,
when the biggest bear lied down,
exhaled the boundary of herself—
woof!—and rolled onto her side.

Her family followed in a line,
bending like an oxbow lake,
crocheting holes in the land