Debra Marquart

Iowa, United States

Member Since: 09/02/2008

Debra Marquart’s books include two poetry collections—Everything’s a Verb and From Sweetness—and a short story collection, The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories which draws on her experiences as a road musician.  Marquart’s work has received a Pushcart Prize, the Shelby Foote Nonfiction Prize from the Faulkner Society, the Headwaters Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts Prose Fellowship.  Her most recent book, Small Buried Things, was published by New Rivers Press in 2015.


Marquart’s memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere was awarded the Elle Lettres Award from Elle Magazine and the 2007 PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award, and an Editors’ Choice commendation from the New York Times.  Marquart teaches in the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at University of Southern Maine, and she is a professor of English and the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University. 


In 2013, Marquart was awarded the Wachtmeister Award for Excellence from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Normal Poetry Prize from The Normal School, the Paumonok Poetry Award from Farmingdale State College in New York, and her work was short-listed for the Manchester Poetry Prize in the UK.  Narrative Magazine selected Marquart’s poem, “Door-to-Door” as one of the top five poems to appear in Narrative in 2013.  Marquart is also the co-editor of Nothing to Declare: A Flash Sequence Anthology, forthcoming from White Pine Press in 2015.




  • The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere , Counterpoint Books (2007)
  • The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories , New Rivers Press (2001)
  • Small Buried Things: Poems (forthcoming 2015) , New Rivers Press
  • From Sweetness , Pearl Editions (2002)
  • Everything's a Verb , New Rivers Press (1996)


  • NEA Fellowship
  • Pushcart Prize
  • PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award(2007)
  • 2014 Paumanok Poetry Award from the Visiting Writers Program at Farmingdale State College, New York.(2014)
  • 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize, Short-List Honors. Manchester Writing School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Mancheser, UK. (2013)
  • Wachtmeister Award for Excellence in the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. (2013)
  • David B. Saunders Award for Creative Nonfiction from Cream City Review (2012)


  • Director at MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment, Iowa State University

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Children's literature , Poetry