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Des Moines poet found refuge in writing during difficult childhood

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Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Des Moines-based poet Will Bortz has found refuge in writing during tumultuous points in his life. Now, he is the author of several books of poetry including his most recent work, Many Small Hungerings, and his poetry has led to a large following on Instagram.

Many Small Hungerings was released in May 2023 and centers around nostalgia and the importance of holding onto memories. In this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Bortz about the collection of poetry and the real-life experiences that inspired it.

Then, avian ecologist Anna Buckardt talks about the Motus Wildlife Tracking system and Iowa's recent role in helping tag hundreds of wildlife creatures, including birds, to track their migratory patterns.


  • Will Bortz, Des Moines-area poet
  • Anna Buckardt, avian ecologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's 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.