art + ag: Mary Swander
We join Mary Swander, Iowa's Poet Laureate, distinguished professor and award-winning author at her kitchen table in an old Amish schoolhouse to discuss the intersection of art and agriculture. Listen for the sounds of Amish country - clip clops from the passing horse and buggy and the school bell that graces the entry to her home.
HOSTS, AUDRA MULKERN, KATE DOUGHTY AND DEBBIE WEINGARTEN
Mary Swander is the Poet Laureate of Iowa, the Artistic Director of Swander Woman Productions, and the Executive Director of AgArts, a non-profit designed to imagine and promote healthy food systems through the arts.
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 Nationmagazine, 1976)
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 Emerita at Iowa State University. She lives in an old Amish schoolhouse, raises geese, goats and a large organic garden. She performs her own work playing the harmonica and the banjo.
Her most recent play, Vang: a drama about recent immigrant farmers, is an example of how she uses the literary and performing arts to educate and cultivate understanding of the agricultural landscape and its people. Below is the trailer from her play, Map of my Kingdom - a story of farm succession.
Thank you to Mary Swander for taking time out of her busy day to share her beautiful art and home with us.
Thank you to Frank Ozmun of Public Market Goods for creating this tee-shirt fundraising opportunity for the podcast to stand up that stool of sustainability.
Thank you to Joe Mulkern for writing and performing our theme and show song.
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