Raised in New Jersey, Michael Carey wanted to become a poet. While attending the Writer's Workshop in Iowa City, he met and married an Iowa woman and moved to Farragut to help out on her 5th generation family farm. To Michael, this was a rude and magical awakening. Carey combines farming and poetry in a magical way; perhaps partly due to his Irish heritage.
This story originally aired in 1992. Recently, he was commissioned by the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation and the World Food Prize organization to write poems and teach children about Borlaug's work.
Michael Carey is still busy farming and has added some new enterprises to his resume: essayist, playwright, publisher, radio show host and teacher. His teaching manual, Poetry, Starting from Scratch, is featured and recommended by the National Library Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. Each winter he travels across the United States teaching poetry at all levels. Carey’s residencies include a basic introduction to poetry, and provides daily exercises that feature specific techniques designed to get even the most reluctant students writing.
Carey runs two small publishing companies, Loess Hills Press, which publishes the work of Iowa poets and writers, Carrauntoohil Books which features five collections of his own poems. He also hosts a radio program, "Voices From the Prairie," which showcases the work of Iowa poets and airs on Humanities Iowa, KUNI-FM and KMA-AM.
KUNI’s listening area covers most of eastern Iowa, plus parts of northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin. Major cities served by KUNI’s main signal at 90.9 FM include Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. KUNI can also be heard in Des Moines at 101.7 FM, in Dubuque at 98.7 FM, in Eldridge at 102.7 FM and in the Quad Cities at 94.5 FM. In north central Iowa, programming can be heard on 91.5 FM KUNY and northern Iowa and southern Minnesota are serviced by KRNI 1010 AM from Mason City. Check for air times of this program at KMA 960 AM radio in Southwestern Iowa. Broadcasting from Shenandoah, KMA 960 AM has a large listening audience including towns such as Lamoni, Creston, Clarinda, Winterset, Red Oak and Council Bluffs.