SCC Press Release

SCC to Host Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander to Celebrate National Poetry Month

Mary SwanderSoutheastern Community College’s Culture on Campus Committee will celebrate April as National Poetry Month by hosting a Visiting Writers Series event on Saturday, April 24, at 8:00 p.m. Scheduled to read is Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander, a nationally acclaimed and award-winning author of memoir and poetry. SCC’s Di Dante Literature & Writing Club will co-host. 

SCC English/Creative Writing Instructor and Di Dante Advisor Charles Burm notes, “Members of SCC’s Culture on Campus Committee feel it is important to provide our students and the greater community with cultural opportunities that otherwise may be difficult to access. It is our honor and pleasure to bring this distinguished writer to our campus.”

The reading will be held in the Little Theatre, Room 433, on SCC’s West Burlington campus and will be followed by a brief question and answer session with the author. Free refreshments will be provided at the close of the event, and signed copies of Ms. Swander’s books will be available for purchase. 

Burm is quick in promoting the talent of the guest poet and the cooperative efforts of multiple organizations to make SCC’s Visiting Writers Series successful. “Mary Swander has gathered much praise and has earned many awards for her writing. Her work has been widely published, and in 2009 Governor Chet Culver appointed Ms. Swander the Poet Laureate of the State of Iowa. We are fortunate to have her with us to celebrate National Poetry Month.”

Burm continues, “Much credit should go to the Burlington Area Arts Council, the Burlington Fine Arts League, the Society of Great River Poets, the SCC Foundation, and many area businesses and individuals for supporting our Culture on Campus Committee, the Visiting Writers Series, and Di Dante Literature & Writing Club students and projects. Through cooperative institutional and community efforts, we are able to host a writer of Ms. Swander’s caliber.”

Mary Swander’s books include The Girls on the Roof, The Desert Pilgrim, Out of this World, Heaven-and-Earth HouseDriving the Body Back, and Succession. She has won numerous awards, including an Iowa Author’s Award (2006), a Whiting Award (from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, 1994), a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the Literary Arts (1986), two Ingram Merrill Awards (1980 and 1986), the Carl Sandburg Literary Award (from the Chicago Public Library, 1981), and the Nation-Discovery Award (from The Nation magazine, 1976). Ms. Swander is a professor of English and a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University.

All Visiting Writers Series events are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Therefore, guests are encouraged to arrive and be seated by 7:45 p.m. For more information, contact Charles Burm: (319) 208-5230 or  


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