The Swander inspiring view!


On this Episode of My Fulfilled Life we talk with Mary Swander who is a poet laureate from Iowa. She speaks about these topics on her journey:



  • Change Food Festival in New York -Performed two plays
  • Ag Arts – a group design imagined to promote healthy foods through Art
    • Create residencies for artists
  • Came from a farming family and currently had a small plot
  • Started worked with students on a farscape play about farming and it took off!

    Mary Swander

  • Created a small theater company
  • We are experiencing  a changing consciousness of people with the connection of food
  • The history of Victory gardens. U.S. homes grew 40 % of our foods during world war II
  • World wide network of farming. Wolfing – travel around the world interning at different farms.
  • Smaller rural communities looking to renovation
  • Desire to address the social justice issue through plays
    • Loss of farms in the rural area to big companies
    • Moving from family farms to contract farming
  • The connection with the loss of the way of life from farmer’s. miners, urban large manfucturers
  • Became extremely chemically sensive to the air, toxins, everything (1938)
    • Extremely difficult to find food without it
    • Move to Amish county and learned new gardening techniques
  • Challenges to moving into a different way of life and environment. How it affected her career
  • How to get over the obstacles of supporting yourself living your writer’s dream


Amish neighbor’s Fruit & Veggie cart

Swander Lambs














How to Find Out More About Mary

More about Mary



AgArt Facebook:

Poetry Foundation: