Iowa Poet Laureate
Iowa State University

Debra Marquart is a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University and Iowa’s Poet Laureate.  Her work explores the relationship between the spoken word, the literary arts, storytelling, and music. Marquart has published six books, including Small Buried Things: Poems, and The Horizontal World: Growing up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere, and she continues to perform with her jazz-poetry, rhythm & blues project, The Bone People, with whom she has released two CDs: Orange Parade (folk/rock) and A Regular Dervish (jazz-poetry).  Her work has received over 50 grants and awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a PEN USA Nonfiction Award, a New York Times Editors’ Choice commendation, and Elle Magazine’s Elle Lettres Award, and has been featured on the BBC and National Public Radio. She is the senior editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment, and she teaches creative writing in ISU’s MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment and in the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.



Debra Marquart is available to read from her creative work (poetry, fiction, memoir) and to perform music alone, or with her band, The Bone People.  A singer-songwriter, Marquart fuses poetry, music, and storytelling in her performances. The topics in Marquart’s five books and ongoing research projects range widely to include the following: agriculture and rural life; music performance and popular music history; immigration and travel; and environmental issues such as oil extraction and climate change.