A few weeks ago my friend, middle-grade novelist Anne Ylvisaker, posed a question on her blog--Why Iowa? She invited me and other Iowans to answer.

This week traveling on country roads to Northwestern Iowa with my pal,  puppeteer Monica Leo, I found even more to hearten me. Like in Charles City, Iowa, where their mighty library houses an enviable gallery of spectacular prints including Hiroshige, Durer, Chagall, Rembrandt, Whistler, Picasso, Pissaro as well as printmaking giants, Piranesi and Meryon.

More, too, in that the heartbeat of even the smallest Iowa towns, is their library. And in library meeting rooms in Charles City, Hartley and Sac City, I watched in wonder as Monica performed her In the Mirror: Three Tales from Asia  to terrific and attentive audiences.


If you happen to be in the neighborhood of  West Bend, Iowa, you must visit The Grotto of the Redemption-- a testament to faith, perseverance and geology.

And if you are hungry and want pie for breakfast, or eggs and has browns with toasts and coffee, stop in Early--made famous by this Greg Brown song.

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You can read my latest Lion Brand Essay--A Knitter's Ode to the Sweatshirt by clicking on the image at the top of the blog or clicking here.