Mary Swander is U.S. author of the recent memoirs The Desert Pilgrim and Out of this World as well as three books of poetry, Heaven-and-Earth House, Driving the Body Back, and Succession.
Swander has also co-authored a musical, Dear Iowa, with composer Christopher Frank, which has been produced across the Midwest and on Iowa Public Television.
Her awards include the Whiting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the Literary Arts, the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, and the Nation-Discovery Award. In 2009, she was named to a two-year term as the Poet Laureate of Iowa. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, she is a Distinguished Professor of English at Iowa State University.
With an endowment from the Iowa Arts Council granted in 2009, she started a poetry website for Iowans called "The Iowa Literary Community"