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Debra Marquart goes right to the heart of Iowa culture and reveals her heart in new essays

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Debra Marquart’s latest book of essays begins, like most things in the Midwest, with the weather and 13 different ways to talk about it. From there, the essays carry us around the world and back again.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Marquart about her collection The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays Between Exile & Belonging. Each essay has a central theme that illuminates something essential about humanity.

Later in the podcast, Sam Gabriel, co-founder of the Genesis Youth Foundation in Des Moines, an organization that works to level the playing field for the children of immigrant families, joins the program to talk about his organization and how they're shaping youth in Des Moines.

This episode was originally produced May 23, 2022.


  • Debra Marquart, author, poet, musician, Iowa’s Poet Laureate, distinguished professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University
  • Sam Gabriel, co-founder of the Genesis Youth Foundation in Des Moines
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