Strong, sexy, busting stereotypes: “From My Lips to Yours” explores kink and leather

bettie rage cover adjusted

The lightbulb moment. We’ve all had them, and mine was when a man walked up to me 21 years ago and asked to lick my boots. I have many loves and passions. Flowers (they are so beautiful, and bring a smile to my soul). Horror movies (can we please get some scary ones? come on!).  Make-up (I own enough of it to make you laugh or cry). Oh… and I am a Leather Woman that loves to play. In fact, I’m your current Ms. Iowa Leather. I’m an educator, and…

Read More

High school writers connect across chasms with Page Poetry Contest

page poets cover

IOWA CITY — With the 2020 murder of George Floyd, and the trial of the officer who killed him, a program I started as a high school writing program has become an escape, an outlet, and a way to deal for the young writers who are participating. Page Poetry Contest Winners from IC Speaks Over the past year, IC Speaks and our members have dealt with a pandemic, and an explosion of political conversation happening worldwide. In some cases, I had BIPOC students writing pieces about the anger and pain…

page poets cover Read More

Warhol numbs, Dylan Kelly makes us care: two Scholastic Art Award winners then, now

daryn kelly

This is a case of a lesson learned, and then unlearned. Some years ago, as a high school art teacher, I learned to withhold praise for personal styles in student work. Teens, not fully formed in mind or body, will stay with the praised style, hesitant to explore other ways of working. Andy Warhol embodied this behavior. TEEN WARHOL Hyperallergic Magazine reported on teen art at NY’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, a display of students who had won this year’s 90-year-old Scholastic Art Awards. The magazine mentioned that Warhol won the same award…

Read More

Trans kids (and everyone): don’t listen to Caitlyn Jenner, misinformed fallen hero

aime column cover 3

That collective groan you heard recently? It was the transgender community nationwide learning Caitlyn Jenner launched her bid for Governor of California. That whistling kettle-like sound you also heard? It was our collective anger boiling over when she said this weekend, “It’s a question of fairness, that why I propose that biological boys that are trans competing in girls’ sports in school…it just isn’t fair, and we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.” When a reporter asked Jenner if her views de-legitimized trans girls’ identities, she ran away.…

Read More

A future to avoid on display with Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest

ghost forest cover

NEW YORK CITY — How do you persuade naysayers that climate change is real, that the earth is fragile and needs protection? How do you call people to action to forestall environmental collapse and the natural world’s death? American architect and sculptor Maya Lin‘s latest effort is “Ghost Forest,” an installation of 50 Atlantic white cedar trees, each some 40 feet tall, and each defoliated and dead. Looming over Madison Square Park like a warning, the trees look cadaverous. “I wanted to create something that would be intimately related to…

Read More

Stealth agents, special agents: A lighter look at how COVID vaccines work

heather fudala cover

“As an ICU nurse, I’ve watched far too many die from COVID in the past year. I’m also painfully aware of the horrific atrocities historically inflicted on minority and marginalized humans in the name of ‘science.’ I understand the reluctance of some to accept the vaccine. We do have so much work to do in science and in society to repair and heal our communities. It’s my hope that this vaccine — and my fun little column below — is part of that process.” — author Heather Fudala When you got…

Read More

COLUMN: Gun control has racist roots, gun ownership now a need for activists

puryear rally

The January 6, 2021 insurrection at our nation’s Capitol showcases the increasing boldness and violence of right-wing extremists. It also showed those extremists that they can engage in violent insurrection and some of the police officers present will do nothing more than take selfies with them.  The fact that Trump ultimately departed the White House doesn’t undo the emboldening of those insurrectionists or the millions of people who watched (and sympathized) from home.  The danger is surely higher now than it was a few months ago. Sadly, many people in…

Read More

Iowa, Florida still seized by Trumpism, Republican culture wars (COLUMN)

iowa florida cover

Iowa and Florida both went strongly Trump in the 2020 election. Both are led by governors who mimicked many Trump policies. Both have state Houses and Senates in Republican control. Both resisted mask mandates and have led the country in COVID-19 transmission rates. Both have a history of legislative bills targeting transgender people. In both Iowa and Florida, the battle against Trumpism remains in full swing. Read Sharon Hughes Kunkel’s pointed call to action. SARASOTA, FL. — In a thrilling turn of events, we won the White House and Senate,…

Read More

“I am not special:” a healthy 20-something Iowan’s tale of fighting COVID-19 (COLUMN)

kate crane cover with

ANKENY, IA — I am not special. Actually, I’m like a lot of people today: a healthy 20- to 30-something with no significant past medical history — who will now be fighting this virus for a long time. In a world that doesn’t want to hear or believe that, it needs to be said. So, I’m sharing my story. A lot of the conversation out there will tell you that most people my age “recover” from COVID. You might hear that it’s “just like a cold” and you “shouldn’t worry.”…

Read More

Reynolds, Iowa agencies failing seniors in COVID protection

seniors COVID

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa officials lied to you this past week. They told you during a press conference that they were doing “everything we can” to fight the virus and obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) for Iowa’s besieged health care workers, especially those at long-term care spaces. But this simply isn’t true. Much like how Donald Trump tried to rewrite his inadequate response to COVID-19, so is Reynolds trying to rewrite hers. Here’s the truth she’s not telling you: In March of 2020, eight months ago, all Pottawattamie County…

Read More