Slam poetry in Iowa born 19 years ago

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In the documentary, “Louder Than a Bomb,” a poet takes the stage and says “poets, breathe now.” Though I wasn’t a poet yet when I saw the film, I held my breath and then released it with him. In that electrifying and powerful moment, I breathed life into a poem for the first time. I felt the poetry begin to pulse through me.  That’s how Heather Knowles (aka Heather K, aka Slamama) remembers feeling when she saw “SlamNation,” shortly after founding the Des Moines Poetry Slam, Iowa’s first-ever poetry slam,…

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LGBTQ health care leader offers spiritual salve, too

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Most people know of Dr. Katie Imborek through her work helping to found the University of Iowa’s LGBTQ Clinic. Imborek is also an active member of Sanctuary Community Church, a non-denominational Coralville church leading the way in LGBTQ inclusion since 2016. Imborek offers occasional teachings at Sanctuary; here is an abridged version of a teaching she provided Oct. 14. At the start of this school year, my youngest son Will had to complete an “All About Me” collage. He tediously went through pictures on my wife’s iPhone to…

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One Human Family offers brochures on tracking, reporting hate

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QUAD CITIES – A Quad-Cities collaboration between a queer Christian Church and a synagogue is encouraging Quad-Cities residents to make use of new brochures that guide people on how to respond to hate incidents. One Human Family QCA has introduced a tri-fold that: • Defines hate crimes • Defines hate incidents • Guides people on how and where to report both hate crimes and hate incidents • Connects readers with other resources to understand hate speech and replace it with unity “It is ‘hard times’ for a lot of people…

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Wichtendahl champions practical solutions

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HIAWATHA — Aime Wichtendahl embraces her status as a role model for LGBTQ Iowans, an obligation and privilege she earned when she won a seat on the Hiawatha City Council four years ago and became the first-ever openly transgender elected official in the state. She regularly responds to requests for input from media on LGBTQ issues, and Wichtendahl was among several dignitaries who co-hosted One Iowa’s historic LGBTQ presidential forum in September. But her trademark quality is not being on the front lines for LGBTQ equality. Rather, Wichtendahl is known…

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Teens who need coats, clothes should head to UAY Tuesday


IOWA CITY — An estimated 400 youth are expected to find needed clothes and coats Tuesday during the annual UAY Clothing Drive for Youth in downtown Iowa City. From 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., youth of all ages and their families are encouraged to visit the UAY Swaim Youth Center, 355 Iowa Ave., to “shop” through racks and piles of coats, sweaters, formal wear, T-shirts and more. “This has been going on for about a decade,” says Kai Kiser, Americorps volunteer with UAY. “We started this when we saw youth were…

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