The Poetry Foundation says: Poet and musician Debra Marquart grew up in the small town of Napoleon, North Dakota. In the 1980s, she toured as a road musician with rock and heavy metal bands. Both experiences have informed her writing: The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere (2006)traces Marquart’s escape from and return to her family’s farm in North Dakota. The memoir won an Elle Lettres award from Elle magazine and a PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award. Her collection The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories (2001) draws on her experiences as a musician. Marquart is the author of the poetry collections Everything’s a Verb (1995), From Sweetness (2002), and Small Buried Things (2015). She continues to sing and perform her poetry both solo and with her band, The Bone People; the group has released two albums.
Marquart has received numerous honors and award for her work, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Minnesota Voices Award, a John Guyon Nonfiction Award, a Headwater’s Prize, a Shelby Foote Prize for the Essay, a Mid-American Review Nonfiction Award, and a Pushcart Prize. She is a professor of English at Iowa State University and teaches in the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine.