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A Very Iowa Poetry Reading

A Very Iowa Poetry Reading, Beaverdale Books

Friday, November 15, 2013


Above: Candice Wuehle (Source: Hannah Sauer)

Response by Hannah Sauer

December 2nd, 2013

On Friday, November 15, MFA programs of University of Iowa and Iowa State University joined forces for an evening of poetry reading. Current students, recent graduates, and instructors at the two universities were featured, each reading a few working or revised selections to the small audience of close to thirty. The event, titled “A Very Iowa Poetry Reading”, took place at the local independent bookstore Beaverdale Books.


Above: Lindsey Tigue (Source: Hannah Sauer)

Though each poet gave wonderful samplings of their work, standouts for the night included University of Iowa MFA student Candice Wuehle, Iowa State University MFA student Lindsey Tigue, and Iowa State University professor Xavier Cavazos. Candice Wuehle seemed to be talking directly to me when she spoke about a naïve “little girl”, but her delivery was almost entrancing. Lindsey Tigue eloquently gave me the reminder I needed about how we humans expect too much from one another. Between the poem inspired by her cat and her play on two-column poetry, her pieces were among the most creative of the night.


Above: Xavier Caravos (Source: Hannah Sauer)

Xavier Caravos openly shared his personal story and writing process as a preface to his work. In doing so, his story-like poem demanded the attention of everyone in the room. In these ways, these poets commanded my attention and filled my ears and my mind with a beautiful reminder of how impactful simple words, arranged in the most curious and truthful of ways, can be so impactful.

This small gathering could not have had a been a better venue than Beaverdale Books—a small, personal space where a community of people who appreciate the power of words could come together. The limited space meant sitting on the floor and squeezing in the space between aisles of books, but this only reinforced the tight-knit communal atmosphere that took over for the night. Iowa has always been a place where I consider everyone a neighbor; and in the presence of these talented poets, this feeling was no different. Congratulations to all on a successful first event!

My name is Hannah Sauer, and I am a student at Drake University. I am originally from the Quad Cities area in Illinois, but ventured to Des Moines to study pharmacy. I am currently in my third year at Drake, and my first year in the PharmD program.