Iowa Bird of Mouth (IBOM) is an online crowd-sourced poetry project honoring Iowa birds. The project will run from September 2016, through August 2017. Support is provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

We seek the words and stories of bird lovers, bird watchers, writers, artists, musicians, teachers, students, scientists, non-profits, federal and state organizations, environmental stewards, and nature lovers from around the world—regardless of age, education, publication history, location or writing style.

Every month, the spotlight bird will change.

September:  American Goldfinch
October:  Ring-necked Pheasant

November:  American Crow 

December:  Eastern Screech-Owl
January:  Bald Eagle 

February: Northern Cardinal 

March:  Red-winged Blackbird 

April:  Trumpeter Swan
May:  American Robin
June:  Eastern Bluebird
July:  Eastern Meadowlark 

August:  Great Blue Heron 

Contributors can connect, chat and share photos, art and sound files on IBOM’s Facebook page and Instagram and Twitter feeds. Text in the poems is open source and available to visual artists, musicians, other writers, organizations, etc. for use in creative projects.

Our Goal

The goal of IBOM is to increase our sense of collective connection to the environment. Birds occupy a unique space in our collective consciousness—they live in all our communities, grabbing our eyes and ears. By sharing our words, we can celebrate ways in which our stories and communities divide and converge, like a flock in flight.

Thirty-seven percent of North American bird species are of high conservation concern and at risk of extinction without significant conservation action, according to the State of North America’s Birds report released in June 2016 by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. IBOM hopes that honoring wild birds will unite us as conservationists.

Crowdsourced Poetry

To borrow a line from Walt Whitman, crowdsourced poems “contain multitudes.” In a crowdsourced poem, anyone can contribute their words. The technique offers a great opportunity to expand definitions of community and engagement. U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera hosted an epic crowdsourced poem, “La Familia,” on the Library of Congress’ website.

The IBOM Team

Tyler Harms of Iowa State University and Executive Director of Iowa Young Birders will act as IBOM’s ornithological advisor. IBOM's logo is based on original drawings by 2015 Iowa Arts Council fellow Kathranne Knight.  Vaughan Ashlie Fielder, founder of The Field Office, designed and developed the IBOM website.

IBOM curator Jennifer L. Knox is the author of four books of poems and her work has appeared prestigious publications such as the New York Times, the New Yorker, and American Poetry Review. Birds have always been a central theme in her poetry. She lives in Ames, teaches at Iowa State University, and is the proprietor of Saltlickers, an artisanal spice company.


Jennifer L. Knox
Jason Schneiderman
Christiana Louisa Langenberg
Nancy Bardole Hanaman
Lisa Leech
Kat Good-Schiff
Vaughan Fielder
Phyllis Yearick
Michael Broder
Nicole Callihan
Jennifer Michael Hecht
Ada Limón
Collin Switzer
Amy H. Peterson
Xavier Cavazos
Dennis Maulsby
Pat Lammers
Catherine Prescott
Cathleen Bascom
Iris Jamahl Dunkle
Team of Birds, Ames Public Library 9-16-16
Barbara Ching
Dani Flanary
Elisabeth Workman
Sophie Comegys
michael meetz
Katie Mae
Meredith Ecklund
Hanni of Ames
Otto Faaborg
Ronna Lawless
Drew Dewliddle PhD
Steve Rose
Amanda Barach
Nate Logan
Linda Voit
Alexander Pope
Marilyn McCormick
Molly McDonald
Claire Kruesel
Ronna Lawless
Jennifer MacBain-Stephens
Melissa Howell
Clarke Area Arts Council
Liza McAlister Williams
Des Moines Hanawalt Brownies 2nd Grade
Steve Rose
Joel Enamorado
Don Ruhde
Darlene Hulbert
Jamila Hulbert Kepple
Chris Weaver
Charlie Coté
Thom Tammaro
April Hawthorne
Don Burns
Hilda Hempler
Zoe Stephan
Veronica VanPelt
Kassia Scott
Melissa Haynes
Melissa Haynes
David Wolf
Graeme Horton
Steve Rose
Eric Miller
Claire Kruesel
Lucia Allgood
Kelsey Diianni
Alex Yao
Sierra Pruessner
Sadie Wallace
Brent Criswell
Ella Gilbert
Elli Hagedorn
Madison .k. Davis
Stephanie Casio
Linda Hirschberg
Middle School Students, Ouzinkie, Alaska
Darlene Hulbert
Laura Minor
Sarah Savage Davis
Claire Kruesel
Deborah Stein
Molly mcd
Sarah Manguso
Jack Underwood
Therese Guise
Jill Selvey
Jill Selvey
Dolly Madison
Jaime Corbacho
Iris Jamahl Dunkle
David Wolf
Nicole Callihan
peter davis
Wendy O'Brien
Meg Johnson
Priyadarshini Pennathur
M. Molly Backes
Tabassam Shah
Coralville Bird Brains
Claire Kruesel
Edgar Allen Crow
Cedar Rapids Facebook Writers
John Domini
Akwi Nji
DMA Birds of a Feather
Barbara Ching
Margaret Ingonish
laura goldstein
Cathy Catterson
Carter & Reed & Bill & Alan
Joshua & Connor
Monique Kluczykowski
Marah Ritnaus
Audrey Meadows
Catherine Esposito Prescott
Sioux City Arts Center
Ertegen Broomcake
Allyson Ifergan
John Burke
Swans of Anarchy
Lilly Quast-Villafana
Ms. Reisner's class from Sawyer Elementary
Mrs. Sidler's class from Sawyer Elementary
Mrs. Newberg's class at Sawyer Elementary
Mike Bayles
Jazlene Jean Webb
Jacob Nolte
Lilly Quast-Villafana
Gov Terry Branstad
Mrs. Ford & Mrs. Rainer's class!
Mrs. Hahn and Mrs. Lenaghan's class from Edwards Elementary
Rockin' Robin
Rebecca Hart Olander
Sarah Sarai
Tabassam Shah
Paul Brooke
Myna Howard
Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff
Iowa's Child
Kid's West
Marta Datore
David McGimpsey
Tabassam Shah
David Duer
Mike Bayles
Molly Gross
Gif Hopkins
Brady T. Brady
Sharon Mesmer
Rebecca Manship
Tabassam Shah
Therese Guise
Nicole Friess-Schilling
Robbin Welch
Beverly Army Williams
Mina Crue
Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff
Claire Kruesel
Lara Payne
The Flock of Millenials
Ryan Feigenspan