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April a busy month at the Mason City Library

MASON CITY – April will be a very busy month at the Mason City Public Library! Not only will we celebrate National Library Week from April 9 – 14th, but we will also observe National Poetry Month for the entire month of April!

National Poetry Month, inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, is held each April to bring poets and poetry to the public in immediate and innovative ways. Toward that end, Mason City Public Library is inviting all local poets who would like to display an original poem to bring a copy of their poem to the library during the month of April to post on our “POST A POEM” display! If you are a proud poet, you may drop your copy off at the Main Desk where staff will review and post poems as they are received. If you are more of a “private” poet, you may anonymously submit your poem in our Poetry Post Box. Either way, local poems will be seen and read by the public during the month of April.  Please remember to submit a copy of your poem as submissions will not be returned. For more information about National Poetry Month, visit the website at:  and click on National Poetry Month.

During National Library Week, April 8-14th, patrons may register to win a $10 gift card  daily Monday through Saturday to Cabin Coffee in the Library Commons. We will also have a grand prize drawing at the end of the week for a $25 gift card to Book World in Southbridge Mall.

To celebrate both events, Mary Swander, Iowa Poet Laureate since 2009, will present a free program for the public in the Mason City Room of the library on Wednesday, April 11th at 6:30pm. She will discuss the state of poetry in contemporary society, illustrating her ideas with her original work including the classic “Driving the Body Back” and her recent poetry collection, “The Girls on the Roof”, a Mississippi River flood saga. She may even accompany herself on her banjo! This program is made possible through a grant through the Humanities Iowa Speakers Bureau. For more information on Mary Swander’s work, please visit her website at:

Jennifer Wilson, author of Running Away to Home: Our Family’s Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters will give a reading and talk on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at 4:00 PM in the Elizabeth Muse Norris Classroom adjacent to the Library Commons. It is free and open to the public. The book won the award for Best Nonfiction Book of 2011 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Jennifer was born in Colfax, Iowa. She’s been a rock writer, reporter, high school English teacher, Big Band radio DJ, and newspaper editor. Her work has appeared in Esquire, National Geographic Traveler, Gourmet and many more magazines. Her husband, architect Jim Hoff, graduated from Mason City High School. They now live in Des Moines. Visit her website at:

On Wednesday, April 25, 2012 there will be a special presentation by the African American Museum of Iowa at 6:30pm in the Elizabeth Muse Norris Classroom.  First in Flight: The Tuskegee Airmen will focus on the stories of the Airmen, who counted among themselves 13 Iowans. Handle real Tuskegee Airmen artifacts during this free 45-minute presentation.  Visit their website at:

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