Debra Marquart is a memoirist, poet, and performing musician. She is the author of six books, including a collection of poems, Small Buried Things: Poems (New Rivers Press, 2015), and the environmental memoir The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere (Counterpoint, 2006). A singer/songwriter, she continues to perform music solo and with her jazz-poetry performance project, The Bone People, with whom she has recorded two CDs. Marquart is the the Senior Editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment, and teaches in Iowa State University’s interdisciplinary MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment and in the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. Her newest collection of poetry, Gratitude with Dogs Under Stars: New & Collected Poems, is forthcoming in 2021, as well as a collection of essays. She was appointed as the Poet Laureate of Iowa in 2019. In 2021, she received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.
In 2021, Debra Marquart was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Marquart will launch Sounding Our Place, a series of experiential literary events that pair an interest in place, the natural world, and environmental issues with poetry / storytelling, songwriting, and creative writing workshops. The events will be planned around the state of Iowa, with a focus on creating partnerships between young writers from local schools and environmental and conservation organizations, designed to reach communities in the rural corners and the urban areas of the state that do not generally receive attention in arts programming.