Iowa Writes

"When did you choose to be gay?"

As fake as a counterfeit bill, they say.
Mothers' tears flow down reddened cheeks
As their children hang from nooses.
Smoking guns turn white carpets red.
All we can do to stop The Hate,
Free the tortured souls is ask:
When did you choose to be straight?

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


Nikki Burian's poem was selected for the 2011 Poetry in Public project, sponsored by the Iowa City Public Art Program. Now in its ninth year, Poetry in Public displays poems by local writers of all ages in Iowa City buses, downtown kiosks, and select public buildings from April (National Poetry Month) through the fall.

Poetry in Public

This page was first displayed
on September 28, 2011

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