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Iowa writer shares poems and essays about the Midwest in his new book

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Just about every four years the rest of the country turns its attention toward Iowa. Everybody wants to figure out what makes us tick and who we'll vote for.

Robert Leonard is a keen observer of his fellow humans. He studies us from the perspective of a trained anthropologist and a seasoned journalist. He also, it turns out, has the heart of a poet. All of these facets come together in his latest book Deep Midwest: Midwestern Explorations, published by Ice Cube Press.

Leonard is also the news director for KNIA/KRLS radio in Knoxville, Pella and Indianola. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Kansas City Star and the Des Moines Register.


  • Robert Leonard, author, news director for KNIA/KRLS radio

This episode was originally produced on Dec. 6, 2019.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.