BIOGRAPHYmary

Mary's Swander's most recent work is a book of non-fiction entitled The Desert Pilgrim from Viking due out in summer 2003. She is also known for her memoir called Out of this World (Viking, 1995). Swander is the author of three books of poetry, Heaven-and-Earth House (Alfred Knopf, 1994), Driving the Body Back (Alfred Knopf, 1986), Succession (University of Georgia Press, 1979), as well as a book of literary interviews, Parsnips in the Snow (with Jane Staw, University of Iowa Press, 1990). Swander has edited three books: The Healing Circle: Authors on Recovery from Illness (Plume, 1998, with Patricia Foster); Bloom and Blossom , a collection of garden literature from Ecco Press (1997); and Land of the Fragile Giants , an edited collection of non-fiction and art work on the Loess Hills (with Cornelia Mutel, University of Iowa Press, 1994).

 The University of Iowa Press reprinted Driving the Body in 1998. Ms. Swander adapted Driving the Body Back to the stage and this piece, along with her co-authored musical, Dear Iowa (with composer Christopher Frank), have been produced across the Midwest and on Iowa Public Television. Ms. Swander performs her own work and also gives solo readings throughout the United States. Ms. Swander is a regular commentator on WOI radio in Ames, IA as well as National Public Radio's Sunday Week-end Edition.

 Ms. Swander has won numerous awards including 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 also became a certified and licensed practitioner of therapeutic massage. Her hobbies include photography and playing the banjo. She is a Distinguished Professor of English at Iowa State University, lives in Ames and Kalona, IA, where she raises ducks and geese and a large organic vegetable garden.

 

Media appearances: Living in Iowa and Home and Garden Television