Iowa Writes

Use the Book

I love this book, I was telling someone
the other day; it's as if the pages have been
rinsed with tea and dried in the sun, gentle
on the eye and wanting your touch. Old jacket,
favorite hat, pages so soft they whisper right on by.
Perfect for fishing, although the poems
have little or nothing to do with Nature.
Looking up from those surreal and strictly human
situations into all this, then, is such a surprise:
I thought I saw a muskrat there, just the other side
of the stream, standing near that clump
of darker grass ... oh he's slipped into the water,
he's gone now, you've missed him completely.
Wait, see the head? He's making straight for our
stringer! Pull it up, pull it up! Well then, at least
hit him on the head with something. Take this.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Julie Hanson is coordinator of a food-buying cooperative in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; she holds an M.A. in expository writing and an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Iowa. Her work has earned awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the West Chester University Conference on Narrative and Form, and the Cincinnati Review and has been published in such venues as the Michigan Quarterly Review, New Ohio Review, Iowa Review, Volt, Poetry East, Tampa Review, and Booth. "Use the Book" is from Unbeknownst (University of Iowa Press 2011).

Established in 1969 and housed in the historic Kuhl House, the oldest house still standing in Iowa City, the University of Iowa Press publishes scholarly books and a range of titles for general readers. As the only university press in the state, it is dedicated in part to preserving the literature, history, culture, wildlife, and natural areas of the region.

This page was first displayed
on May 13, 2011

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