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2021 Poets Laureate Fellowship

2021 Poets Laureate Fellowship

Debra Marquart has been awarded a Poets Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poetry for her work at the Poet Laureate of the state of Iowa.  The 2021 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships are $50,000 awards given to honor poets of literary merit...

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The Horizontal World

By Debra Marquart
Winner of the PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award and Elle Magazine’s Elle Lettres Award

Praise for

The Horizontal World

“The Horizontal World is as full of grit and grace as the North Dakota farmland it portrays. Debra Marquart writes of home and how we carry it with us no matter the miles and years we travel. If you dare think that nothing really happens out there in the middle of nowhere, read this gorgeous book about a family and their land, about the girl who strained against both and finally left. From the first words, you’ll feel a taproot set down in your heart, one that won’t let go because the story is as old as the land itself. You know the one–that story of mothers and fathers and daughters and sons, that rough and tender story of the ties that bind.”

—Lee Martin, author of From Our House and The Bright Forever

“Debra Marquart’s The Horizontal World is one of those rare books that captures a landscape and the people in it with equal grace and artistry. At once a coming of age memoir and a portrait of the tough and cold and beautiful land upon which that growth occurs, this book is wonderfully accomplished.”

—Brett Lott, author of Jewell

“The author’s elegant, understated sentences are as fertile as freshly tilled rows of loam.”

—Julia Scheeres, New York Times Book Review

“Marquart speaks loud and clear for the voices of the Great Plains that are too often silent. It is a point of view that is at once shocking and prophetic and one that can help bring focus to the dilemma of the grasslands. Read The Horizontal World and learn what the hungry wind feels like on your naked body.”

—Brett Lott, author of Jewell

Purchase

The Horizontal World

The Night We Landed On The Moon

By Debra Marquart
Essays Between Exile & Belonging

Praise for

THe Night We Landed on the Moon

“Fans of Debra Marquart’s landmark memoir, The Horizontal World, will rejoice over the publication of The Night We Landed on the Moon—shapeshifting essays that travel from the blizzardy Midwest to sweltering Siberia, from a flooding Michigan basement to the panic-inducing Paris Catacombs, from her life as a rebellious farmer’s daughter to hard rock musician to professor and poet laureate. Every page is full of story and insight, laced with wit, as Marquart meditates on both the details of our idiosyncratic lives and what our lives signify: the hungers of home and wanderlust, the tragi-comic vicissitudes of the weather, the way her Germans-from-Russia family is “preserved in their hyphenations,” the poetic strangeness of basketball, the insidiousness of fracking boomtowns, and the ironies of the kind of nostalgia called heimat. The individual essays are astonishing, the collection as a whole profound.”

—K. L. Cook, author of Marrying Kind and The Art of Disobedience

“Each of these seductive essays reads like a finely honed musical piece, its tones and melodies spun together by a masterful conductor. Moving from the serious to the playful, Marquart combines longings for a lost past with hope for new familial connections, weaving in environmental concerns, and always evoking a compelling sense of place. Whether her stories are set in North Dakota or farther afield, and whether she’s talking about the loss of wildness, the feeling of exile or some other personal loss, we know a wink of humor will arise at some point in her voice, and that we, like the king in Scheherazade’s tales, will want to hear another tale in the morning.”

—Sheryl St. Germain, author of Fifty Miles

“These essays rule. They’re about everything. North Dakota, obviously, and time and grief and sex and loss and weather, but also subtler wonders: chokecherry jelly, knoephla, proper road trip snacks including Dot’s Homestyle pretzels (which thanks to Debra Marquart I also now sing the praises of), the indestructibility of mothers, and the importance and fragility of the best shade trees. Perhaps her best trick is to get us to fall in love again with the places we’ve left, even if we’ve not ever left them fully. Marquart’s Midwest is “a true place full of open secrets…delicious and horrifying,” which perfectly describes this book.”

—Ander Monson, author of I Will Take the Answer: Essays

“At the heart of Debra Marquart’s The Night We Landed on the Moon is this compelling quest: how do we come to understand the places that formed our bones, the places that shape how we think about the world? From the American Great Plains to olive groves in Greece to the Catacombs in Paris to her family’s ancestral home in Russia, she wonders, how do we locate ourselves in the interior and exterior landscapes of a community and how do we come to dwell in spaces of presence and absence? In the end, this lovely book pushes us all to question where and how and to whom we belong.”

—Karen Babine, author of All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer.

Purchase

The Night We Landed on the Moon