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Iowa Poet Laureate at the Orpheum Feb. 22

Mary Swander

The Orpheum Theater Center has received funding from Humanities Iowa, a private, non‐profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to host a presentation by Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander on Thursday, Feb. 22, from 7:30 to 9 pm at the Orpheum. A cultural resource for Iowans since 1971, Humanities Iowa offers many cultural and historical programs and grants to Iowa’s communities.

The program “Discussions, Readings & Maybe a Banjo” by Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander is free and open to the public. Swander will give a retrospective reading and play music from a succession of the poetic dramas she’s touring through the United States, including Driving the Body Back, Farmscape, Vang, and Map of my Kingdom. The dramas draw on interviews and portraits of rural America, including immigrants in Marshalltown. Swander’s tour venues have included farmers’ barns, major universities, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the USDA, and now the Orpheum Theater Center.

Swander will also discuss her founding and direction of AgArts, a non-profit organization designed to imagine and promote healthy food systems through the arts. AgArts is currently developing a farm-to-artist residency program.

A poet, playwright, and non-fiction writer, Swander draws her inspiration from the landscape and its people. From the Iowa Amish to the New Mexico mystics, she has captured the extraordinary folkways and idioms in the ordinary person’s life.

If you are a person with a disability who requires special assistance, please call the Orpheum at 641-844-5920 in advance.

The Orpheum Theater Center is administered by Iowa Valley Community College District.

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