- Irving Toast, Poetry Ghost - 20080518 - Mary Swander

Mary Swander
Sunday, May 18th at 10:30 am CST tune in for Mary Swander. (She brought her banjo!)

Mary's Swander's most recent work is a forthcoming book of poetry entitled The Girls on the Roof (Turning
Point Press, 2009). This long narrative poem is the story of a mother
and daughter stuck on top of the roof of catfish dive on the banks of
the Mississippi River for three days during the 1993 flood. There, they
discover they’ve both had an affair with the same man.

Ms. Swander has won numerous awards including an Iowa Author’s Award
(2006), a Whiting Award (The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, 1994), a
National Endowment for the Arts grant for the Literary Arts (1986), two
Ingram Merrill Awards (1980, 1986), the Carl Sandburg Literary Award
(The Chicago Public Library, 1981), and the Nation-Discovery Award (The Nation magazine, 1976). Publisher's Weekly named Parsnips in the Snow
one of the best books of 1990, and the Garden Writers Association of
America awarded Swander their Quill and Trowel Award for best magazine
writing of 1993. Ms. Swander has published individual poems, essays,
short stories and articles in such places as The Nation , National Gardening Magazine, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Poetry magazine.

Ms. Swander received her M.F.A from the University of Iowa Writers
Workshop. She is a professor of English and a Distinguished Professor
of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University. She lives in an
old Amish schoolhouse, raises geese, goats, and a large organic garden,
and plays the banjo.