Below you will find two sections with resources, Playing Around With Poetry and Grant Wood Country. Both are areas of ongoing enthusiasm for me and many others. Enjoy connecting with these resources and feel free to connect with me too:)
PLAYING AROUND WITH POETRY:
It is really fun to play with words. If you've never written a poem in your life, or you have been doing it your whole life, it's always nice to have some encouragement, or a little inspiration and some tips and tricks at the ready. The world of poetry is so rich and multi-faceted that there is definitely room for YOU to engage it, if so inclined. Here's some of my favorite resources for having fun making poems or learning more about the world's poets and their poems. I'd love to hear from you and talk all things poetry. There is a lot of poetry happening throughout Iowa so there are many opportunities to engage it. I have mentioned a few, along with some of my favorite practical and inspirational resources.
• A rhyming dictionary and a Thesaurus, printed or online
• Lewis Turco's The New Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics. If you ever wanted to get into the weeds and puzzle together words to make a specific type of poem, this is definitely your source. The possibilities are endless:)
• The United States of Poetry (DVD) - a great visual overview of a broad range of poetry, in the poets' own voices. Really great.
• https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets (one could get lost in this site for years and never come out)
• Iowa Poetry Association you can become a member and also join their Facebook private online group. They publish a collection annually, conduct workshops and forward resources.
• Iowa Writers Workshop of the University of Iowa. Summer programming is often available for those outside the university.
• Des Moines Poetry Slam - an ongoing and supportive environment (hosted by Jon E. Duh-Moyne and Kevin Marken) for this genre of performance poetry. Watch their Facebook page for future offerings
• Poetry Unplugged at Ritual Cafe in Des Moines monthly (will resume when safe to do so). Hosted by Miguel Ramirez who offers an opportunity for any flavor of poetry to be heard in this central Iowa creative hotspot. Watch the Poetry Unplugged Facebook page for future offerings .
• Workshops with Mary Swander, former poet laureate of Iowa and long-time writing professor at Iowa State. She is a fabulous instructor and I highly recommend her workshops, which can be found by going to Land Alliance Folk School on Facebook, or find out more about her at maryswander.com
• An excellent online resource about the tools of the poetry trade from former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/poetry-101-learn-about-poetry-different-types-of-poems-and-poetic-devices-with-examples#what-is-poetry
• Telepoem Booth, learn more about telepoem booths, there's one in Council Bluffs, a dynamic interactive national poetry initiative. See telepoembooth.com
GRANT WOOD COUNTRY
Being an Iowan who grew up and lived as an adult in "Grant Wood Country," with several generations settled there before me and now a couple behind, I am constantly discovering new things about the ongoing influence of Grant Wood and his art. As I have prepared to present my first collection of poems, Grant Wood Country Loose Leaf Poems, I have revisited some of the scholarship of Grant Wood and his art. Though his name and work were ever-present throughout my youth, I have discovered that many continue to discover him anew, study him and his art, and create new work derived of his influence. Those of us who are daughters and sons of "Grant Wood Country," can speak with particular authenticity to many cultural aspects of the area. It has been intriguing, exciting and, at times, befuddling, to learn more about the scholarship, books, and articles written about our area, its celebrity artist, and the impact of his famous paintings. I would like to give shout-outs to these Grant Wood area writers who have studied and presented work, nonfiction and creative:
• Paul Juhl, historian and author of Grant Wood: Abandoned Plans and Grant Wood's Clear Lake Summer.
• Dorothy Bunting Montgomery, author of Stone Fruit, new historical fiction book set in Grant Wood Country and meticulously attentive to authentic depictions of people related to Grant Wood, especially Nan Wood Graham. Available on Amazon.
• Barbara Feller, author of upcoming book, The Creation of An Artist: Grant Wood's Boyhood Story, coming out this fall from Ice Cube Press. She also wrote The Road to Waubeek: Discovering Jay G. Sigmund (poet, and close friend and inspiration to Grant Wood), also from Ice Cube Press.
There have been many scholars, some working on their own, or in conjunction with museums where Wood's work resides. Wood's work has been studied through many lenses, and it is an area of ongoing fascination for me to balance these varying lenses with my own experiences of Grant Wood's work.