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K-State Today

March 28, 2018

Writer Debra Marquart to read from her work on Friday, 3:30 p.m.

Submitted by Karin Westman

Debra Marquart

On Friday, March 30, writer Debra Marquart will read from her work at 3:30 p.m. in Hale Library's Hemisphere Room.

Marquart is a professor of English at Iowa State University, where she teaches in the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing and environment. She also teaches in the Stonecoast Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts program at University of Southern Maine.

Marquart is the author of two poetry collections — "Everything's a Verb" and "From Sweetness" — and a collection of interrelated short stories, "The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories," which draws on her experiences as a female road musician. She has released two CDs with her rhythm and blues project, "The Bone People," and continues to perform solo as a singer/songwriter.

Marquart's work has received numerous awards and commendations, including the John Guyon Nonfiction Award, the Mid-American Review Nonfiction Award, The Headwater's Prize, the Shelby Foote Prize for the Essay from the Faulkner Society, a Pushcart Prize, and a 2008 NEA Creative Writing Prose Fellowship, among others.

"Debra Marquart writes with a traveler's heart from the heart of the plains. In her poems and memoir she explores what it can feel like to want to escape the landscape of her childhood into something more interesting or culturally edgy, and yet be pulled by attachments that go back for generations," said Elizabeth Dodd, university distinguished professor of English and creative writing.

Katherine Karlin, associate professor and director of the program in creative writing, notes a similar pull between the known and the new.

"Debra Marquart catalogues images that may at first seem ordinary, but that's where her work surprises you. A dress, a car, a guitar — it all builds up to something of immense power: life, rooted in place (usually the Plains), quietly and deeply felt. Marquart's work examines what it means to be from somewhere," Karlin said.

More information about Marquart's work is available from her website.

Marquart's reading is sponsored by the English department, K-State Libraries, the Konza Prairie Biological Station, and the Konza Long-Term Ecological Research Program, with assistance from the Big 12 Faculty Fellowship Program.

The event is free and open to the public. A book-signing will follow the reading.

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