Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Debra Marquart

Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change

Office Location

Stonecoast MFA Office: 98 Bedford Street, Portland, ME 04103


Stonecoast MFA Office: 207-780-4423

Academic Degrees

  • M.A. (Creative Writing) Iowa State University
  • M.L.A. Moorhead State University


Debra Marquart is a professor of English and the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She serves as the Senior Editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, and teaches in the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.

Marquart is the author of six books, including three poetry collections—Small Buried Things, 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 female road musician. Marquart’s memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere, received the "Elle Lettres" award from Elle Magazine and the 2007 PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award. In 2016, she co-edited a groundbreaking anthology of experimental writing for White Pine Press, Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Prose Sequence.

 Her work has appeared in numerous journals including The North American ReviewThree Penny ReviewNew LettersRiver CityCrab Orchard ReviewNarrative MagazineThe SunThe Normal School, River Styx, Orionand Witness. Marquart's poem "Lament" was recently selected by Edward Hirsch for inclusion in Best American Poetry, 2016.

Areas of Scholarship

Creative Nonfiction, Lyric Essays, Short Forms, Travel Writing

Poetry, Performance Poetry, Intermedia Arts, Songwriting

Art & Activism, Writing for Social and Environmental Justice

Publishing, Editing, Creative Writing Pedagogy

Recent Publications

RECENT BOOKS Alexander, Robert, Eric Braun, Debra Marquart, eds. Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence.Buffalo, NY: White Pine Press, 2016

Small Buried Things: Poems. Moorhead, MN: New Rivers Press, 2015

ESSAYS & POEMS “Buried Voices.” Narrative Magazine. May, 2018

“Some Things About That Day.” Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writer's Guide and Anthology. Bloomsbury Press. Eds. H.K. Hummel and Stephanie Lenox. 2018

“This New Quiet” and Dylan’s Lost Years.” New Microfiction. Eds. James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro. W.W. Norton, Spring 2018

“When the Band Broke Up.” Alligator Juniper XX. 2016: 3 – 5.

"The Microphone Erotic.” From Curlers to Chainsaws: Women Writers and Their Machines. Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2016: 192 – 201.

“Even on a Sunday Drive.” San Diego Poetry Annual, 2018.

“Kablooey is the Sound You’ll Hear.” Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence. Eds. Brian Clements, Alexandra Teague, and Dean Rader. Beacon Press, 2017: 112-113.

“Traveling with Guitar.” American Life in Poetry Series. Nov. 23, 2015. Ed. Ted Kooser.


Marquart has delivered over 250 invited readings and keynotes at universities and conferences from New York and Washington to Greece, France, and Ireland. Her work has been featured on three NPR programs—Morning Edition, The Writer’s Almanac, and On Point—and on the BBC.

Creative Activity

Marquart’s essay collection, “The Night We Landed on the Moon: On Restlessness and Staying Put” is currently circulating to publishers. She is at work on two books: 1) a memoir, “The Listening Room: Notes on a Life in Music,” which is an acoustic ecology on the art of listening, an autobiography of dreaming and catastrophe, and a meditation on the pleasures of making and performing music, and 2) a book-length poem about the oil boom in her home state of North Dakota entitled Welcome to Boomtown.




Awards and Recognition

Marquart has received numerous awards including the John Guyon Nonfiction Award, the Shelby Foote Prize for the Essay, a Pushcart Prize, an NEA Creative Writing Prose Fellowship, the 2013 Wachtmeister Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Normal Poetry Prize from The Normal School, the Paumanok Poetry Award, and a Social Justice Fellowship from the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Recently, her work was shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Prize in Manchester, UK.