Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009 12:30 pm


GRINNELL, IA—Iowa’s poet laureate Mary Swander and Monica Leo of the internationally renowned Eulenspiegel Puppet Company will present “The Girls on the Roof” on Mon., Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ''25 Center on the Grinnell College campus.

“Girls on the Roof” is a performance piece based on Swander's most recent book of poetry of the same name. As Swander reads her poems, puppeteer Monica Leo recreates the scenes with hand, rod, and shadow puppets to tell the story of a mother and daughter stuck on the roof of a café for three days during the 1993 flooding of the Mississippi River.

Swander was appointed poet laureate for the State of Iowa by Gov. Chet Culver in 2009 and in addition to “Girls on the Roof” is also touring her play “Farmscape.” She is the author of numerous books of poetry and memoirs, as well as individual poems, essays, short stories, and articles in such publications as The Nation, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. She is a professor of English and a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University.

Monica Leo founded the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre in 1974 as a touring puppet troupe. The Eulenspiegel puppeteers have collaborated with musicians, playwrights, directors, designers, and other theatre companies and have performed at national and international puppet festivals. Eulenspiegel is known for witty scripts, original and expressive puppet designs, and strong graphics.

“Girls on the Roof” is sponsored by the Grinnell College Center for Prairie Studies, the Writers@Grinnell program, and the Grinnell Area Arts Council. The Rosenfield Center is located at 1115 8th Ave. on the Grinnell College campus.