Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Debra Marquart

Creative Nonfiction, Poetry

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 Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University and Iowa’s Poet Laureate. She is the Senior Editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment.  A memoirist, poet, and performing musician, Marquart is the author of six books including an environmental memoir of place, The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere and a collection of poems, Small Buried Things: Poems. Marquart’s short story collection, The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories drew on her experiences as a former road musician. A singer/songwriter, she continues to perform solo and with her jazz-poetry performance project, The Bone People, with whom she has recorded two CDs.  

Marquart’s work has been featured on NPR and the BBC and has received over 50 grants and awards including an NEA Fellowship, a PEN USA Award, a New York Times Editors’ Choice commendation, and Elle Magazine’s Elle Lettres Award. The Senior Editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment, Marquart teaches in ISU’s interdisciplinary MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment and in the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. 

Marquart has two books forthcoming in 2021: an essay collection entitled, The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays on Exile & Belonging (NDSU Press) and a poetry collection, Gratitude with Dogs Under Stars: New & Collected Poems (New Rivers Press).

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


The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays Between Exile & Belonging. NDSU Press. Forthcoming 2021.

Gratitude with Dogs Under Stars: New & Collected Poems. New Rivers Press. Forthcoming 2021.

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.


“The Death of a Lost Dog.” The Iowan. March 2021: 52-57.

“Small Buried Things: Essay on Fracking.” Bearing Witness: The Human Rights Case Against Fracking and Climate Change, edited by Kathleen Dean Moore and Tom Kerns. Oregon State University Press, forthcoming Spring 2021.

“Taste of Home.” On Second Thought Sense of Place Issue. North Dakota Council on the Humanities, 2020. [2,887 words]

“At 79, My Mother Decides to Plant Trees.” Fourth Genre. (2020) 23.1. 171-180. 

“On the Ephemerality of Things: Thoughts on the Demise of a Literary Press.” High Plains Reader. 5 May 2020.  [2,366 words]

“Tell It Cool: On Writing with Restraint.” New Ohio Review: The Personal Political.  Feb. 2020. Online. [reprint]

“The Unhappy Hour.”  Ascent Magazine.  6 November 2019.

“Buried Voices.” Story of the Week. Narrative Magazine.  7 June 2018.

“Teachings from the Horse Nation: Postcards from America.”  Pacific Standard Magazine. June 2018.

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

“This New Quiet.”  New Microfiction.  Eds. James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro. W.W. Norton, 2018.

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

“Dylan’s Lost Years.”  Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan.

Eds. Thom Tammaro and Alan Davis. New Rivers Press, 2018.

“Living to Tell the Tale.” The Fourth River. Vol. 0.3 (2016): 16 – 24.

“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.

“Tell it Cool: On Restraint in Writing.”  New Ohio Review 19 (2016): 155 – 158.


“Target.” Stone Gathering: A Reader. (Summer) 2021. Forthcoming.

“Frack.” Rewilding: Poems for the Environment, edited by Crystal S. Gibbins, Flexible Press,

2020, pp 87-89. [reprint]

“Some Things About that Day.” Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction, edited by Dinty Moore and Zoë Bossiere. Rose Metal Press,  2020, pp. 202-203. [reprint]

“Lament.” Stone Gathering: A Reader. 1.5 (Spring) 2020. [reprint]

“Come November.”  Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, edited by Simmons Buntin, Elizabeth Dodd, and Derek Sheffield, Trinity University Press, 2020, pp. 107-108. [reprint]

How Bad News Comes.”  Send My Roots Rain: 52 Weeks of Poetry to Heal Your Grief. Ed. Kim Langley.  Paraklete Press, 2019.

“Come November.” A Journal of Built + Natural Environments.  28 October 2018. 

“Even on a Sunday Drive.”  Steve Kowit Prize, 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.

“Getting Ready.”  Who Am I?  Grade School Textbook.  Perfection Learning.  Fall 2017.

“Balance.”  Lit.Cat: The Literature Box of the Internet.  21 September 2017. 

“Lament.”  Portside: Material of Interest to People on the Left.  21 April 2017.

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

“Lament.”  New Letters. 81.1 (2014)

“Wild Thyme” and “Traveling with Guitar.”  Through a Distant Lens:  Travel Poems. Ed. Sheryl Clough. Whidbey Island, WA: Create Space, 2014.

“Things Not to Put in Your Mouth,” “Poor You,” “China: 5,000 Years,” and

“News Flash.”  2013 Manchester Poetry Prize. Manchester School of Writing, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK.  18 Oct. 2013.

“Kablooey is the Sound You’ll Hear.”  The Normal School 6.2 (2013): 19.

“Ecdysis.”  River Styx 89 (2013):  8-9.

“Door to Door.”  Narrative Magazine.  Poem of the Week. 31 March 2013.

 “Couples Traveling.”  Narrative Magazine 20 July 2013.


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

Books (In Progress)

“How Fish Learned to Sing: Notes on a Life in Music — An Acoustic Ecology.” 
[A memoir on listening to, playing, and performing music.]

“Leave it in the Ground: Dispatches from an Oil Boom” 
[A book length poem on fracking, oil, air, water safety, and climate change.]

“In Defense of the Least Weasel: Poems
[An illustrated chapbook-length poetry collection featuring animals that have been listed on Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources’ list of “Endangered Species.”] 

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.


Link to Digital Repository