BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Local columnist Curt Swarm has launched a new book in addition to his weekly columns read in many area newspapers.
Swarm entertained guests at the Fort Madison Area Artists Association on Thursday evening and talked about his books and his columns that he writes weekly for area newspapers.
The book is entitled “Protected” and it’s a compilation of true stories about Swarm’s life and how God has impacted and created a path for Swarm from childhood to adult.
“This has nothing to do with my columns,” Swarm said. “Each story is a story of how God was working in my life opening doors, some are subtle stories and some are very violent and they are all true.
He has an english degree from Iowa State University, but alcohol temporarily derailed his professional writing career.
“My objective out of college was to start writing, but alcoholism got in the way and I did a lot of drinking instead of writing,” he said. “I just have this passion to write. If you’re an artist and you have this passion, you will do your art whether you get paid for it not.”
His professional writing career started with a weekly column in Windsor, Colorado.
“I was writing articles for them and every now and then I would send a copy to another paper in Greeley and they would run them, too. The publisher called me into his office one day and said he owned the copyright and I couldn’t send them to anyone else.”
Swarm said he didn’t know that was the case, even though the paper was running them for free, and eventually he moved back to the Midwest.
“We moved back to Iowa. I was born and raised here and settled in Mt. Pleasant. Couple years after that I started writing again. I write for free and my columns are in about 2o papers. When I started out I charged a little bit, but I got a letter from a reader one day that said what I had written had moved him so much he was carrying it in his shirt pocket next to his heart. So that was it. I stopped charging for them,” he said.
Swarm also dabbles in sculpting and photography. His art will be part of a show June 11 in Wever and can be seen at the FMAAA.
Anyone interested in getting a copy of “Protected” can contact Swarm directly at 319-217-0526 or email@example.com. He said you can also send a request to 2471 Marsh Avenue, Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641.
Curt Swarm’s column, Empty Nest, can now be read each Sunday in the Pen City Current.