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"Delights And Shadows" Paints A Poetic Image Of The Midwest

Iowa Public Radio
Ted Kooser's Pulitizer Prize winning poetry collection "Delights & Shadows" brings memories to life through a uniquely Midwestern perspective.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s poetry is clear, accessible and powerful. His collection Delights & Shadows won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and the painterly language and relatable depictions of Midwestern life featured in the book have solidified Kooser’s place in American poetry history.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, it's the June meeting of the Talk of Iowa Book Club! Host Charity Nebbe is joined by Iowa Poet Laureate Debra Marquart, Iowa poets Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey and Paul Brooke, and listeners from across the state for a discussion of Delights & Shadows.

Also in the hour, Rainey performs his poem "Shots Fired," a piece focused on the realities of police brutality, from his poetry collection Look, Black Boy.

Want to join the Talk of Iowa Book Club? We invite readers of all ages to join our next meeting on July 8th to discuss Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Birch Bark House by Louise Erdrich.


  • Deb Marquart, professor of english at Iowa State University and Iowa Poet Laureate
  • Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey, Iowa City-based poet and spoken word artist, founder and program director for IC Speaks – a high school spoken word program
  • Paul Brooke, professor of english, Grand View University
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa