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The Power Of Poetry In Pandemic

Aaron Burden
"I'm anxious, I'm reflective just like everyone else," says poet Crystal Stone. "Writing these poems helps me put my thoughts together, captures the moment, helps other people empathize with me."

For Democrats, flipping the Senate seat held by Republican Joni Ernst is likely to be an uphill battle. On this Newsbuzz edition of River to River, we take a look at the democratic challengers and the week's coronavirus news.

The program begins with IPR's Kate Payne talking about meatpacking facilities in Blackhawk county that have experienced widespread cases of COVID-19. Then we meet Tosha Rhoades of Mount Pleasant for our ongoing series following Iowans through the pandemic. We also hear from Erin Murphy of Lee Enterprises about Govenor Kim Reynolds' latest proclamation that partially reopens 22 more counties across the state.

IPR's politcal reporter Clay Masters previews his upcoming series of interviews with the four candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in the June 2 primary, to go on to face Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst in November. The series begins on IPR's Morning Edition Monday, May 11.

The hour concludes with Crystal Stone, a poet and recent graduate of Iowa State University's MFA program in creative writing and envrionment, on the power of poetry amid the pandemic before we "groove into the weekend," with Tony Dehner.


  • Kate Payne, eastern Iowa reporter, IPR
  • Tosha Rhoades, resident, Mount Pleasant
  • Erin Murphy, Des Moines bureau chief, Lee Enterprises
  • Clay Masters, politcal reporter and Morning Edition host, IPR
  • Crystal Stone, poet and recent graduate of Iowa State University's MFA in creative writing and environment
  • Tony Dehner, Studio One host, IPR
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River