About the Author
Debra Marquart is an associate professor of English at Iowa State University. Her work has appeared in numerous journals such as The North American Review, Three Penny Review, New Letters, River City, Crab Orchard Review, Cumberland Poetry Review, The Sun Magazine, Southern Poetry Review, Orion, Mid-American Review and Witness.
Marquart grew up in the small town of Napoleon, North Dakota, a place she couldn’t wait to leave as a young woman. Her journey away and back again after her father’s death is at the core of The Horizontal World, her recent memoir.
In the 1980s, Marquart was a touring road musician with rock and heavy metal bands. Her collection of short stories, The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories, draws from her experiences as a female road musician.
Marquart continues to perform with a jazz-poetry rhythm & blues project, The Bone People, with whom she has released two CDs: Orange Parade (acoustic rock); and A Regular Dervish (jazz-poetry). Marquart’s work has received numerous awards and commendations, including the John Guyon Nonfiction Award (Crab Orchard Review), the Mid-American Review Nonfiction Award, The Headwater’s Prize from New Rivers Press, the Minnesota Voices Award, the Pearl Poetry Award (Pearl Editions), the Shelby Foote Prize for the Essay from the Faulkner Society, and a Pushcart Prize.
A performance poet, Marquart is the author of two poetry collections: Everything's a Verb and From Sweetness. Her memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere, was published by Counterpoint Books in 2006, and she’s currently at work on a novel, set in Greece, titled The Olive Harvest.
The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere
No matter how far we wander, it's an indisputable fact that who we are is intimately connected to where we're from. In this splendid family memoir, Debra
Marquart explores the complicated geography of home and the strange symbiosis between place and identity. Raised on her family's North Dakota farm, a place she loathed for its unending drudgery, Marquart couldn't wait to shake the dust of the Great Plains from her feet. Yet, years later, when she returned for her beloved father's funeral, she rediscovered a connection to the land and to her family's pioneer history that surprised her mightily. For all of us who have stood poised between the need to escape and the desire to return home, this poignant and beautifully written book rings singularly true.
EXCERPT FROM MARQUART'S MEMOIR:
Grow Where You’re Planted, that poster I had on my bedroom wall as a teenager, I know I never believed it. Was it the image I liked that made me duct-tape it to the wall? A daisy with a bent stalk growing out of a square pot. Two other posters, LabelJars, Not People and Make Love, Not War, I believed. But Grow Where You’re Planted, never. In my childhood, like those people with suitcases packed and waiting for the mother ship, I prepared myself for transplantation.
Napoleon, the small town in North Dakota where I grew up—1,107 people, three bars, two grain elevators, a post office, a drugstore, a courthouse, a funeral home, and farmland stretching for miles in all directions. The only jobs I saw around me were farmer, banker, and priest. The prospects for women were worse—teacher, housewife, nun. Not one of them an occupation I imagined for myself.
Official Website: http://debramarquart.com