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. It received the “Elle Lettres” award from Elle Magazine and the 2007 PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award.
Debra Marquart’s 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. Her awards and commendations include 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, a Pushcart Prize, and a 2008 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship.
An English professor, Marquart teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University as well as the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA program at the University of Southern Maine.
Originally called the VCCA Award for Excellence in the Arts, this award acknowledges the vital role of the arts in our world, the importance of artists who exemplify excellence in their field, and the necessity of time and space for the creative phase of all artistic work. Endowed by VCCA Board member Linda Wachtmeister and administered by the VCCA Fellows Council, the Wachtmeister Award is presented annually to a prominent writer, visual artist or composer whose significant achievement in the arts is widely recognized.