The marginalization of spoken word, slam poetry

The marginalization of spoken word, slam poetry

Them: “So, what do you do?” Me:  “I’m a poet.” Them: “Me too! What kind?” Me: “Spoken word.” Them: “Oh, cool. Like rap and stuff? I write normal poetry.” There it is. The divide. It pops up constantly in conversations, the idea of “normal” poetry (or even worse,...
Opportunities lost if Iowa misses the green wave

Opportunities lost if Iowa misses the green wave

Weed, wacky tobaccie, dope, green … or maybe cannabis. For many, legalized or decriminalized marijuana harkens images of 1993’s Richard Linklater classic “Dazed and Confused.” Or the devilish dancing and lewdness of 1936’s “Reefer Madness.” Regardless of the...
A treasure trove of arts/crafts upcycling

A treasure trove of arts/crafts upcycling

With just a quick glance, “my late grandmother’s disorganized attic” or “a great episode of Pickers” might be your first impression of The Create Exchange. But a closer look at this Cedar Rapids store shows a masterful system built to save money, save resources,...
You might be a Trump enabler if ….

You might be a Trump enabler if ….

“Trump fatigue” is a favorite topic lately. It’s joining the longtime talk about Trump’s destruction of norms, and his normalizing of dismissiveness, one-uppances, and constant contradictions. We like to talk about Trump as though he is the reason for collapse...
Board games offer lessons of life, inclusiveness

Board games offer lessons of life, inclusiveness

Walking into the game room of Mayhem Collectibles, in Clive, can be a surreal experience. There are people sitting at tables throughout the room playing games of all kinds. Games about building the best suburb, games about discovering underwater kingdoms, even games...
LGBTQ dating when you’re not ‘gay’ enough

LGBTQ dating when you’re not ‘gay’ enough

Hey Varla! I have a problem that I’ve been dealing with … forever, really. I’m a REALLY feminine girl. And I’m also REALLY gay. It makes dating hard because only guys flirt with me, and if I try to flirt with other girls they think I’m joking around, actually...