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Dakota native to hold writing workshop

By Staff | Jan 30, 2015


A North Dakota native turned writer and professor will lead a writing workshop in Rugby next month.

Debra Marquart – a English professor and teacher in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Environment program at Iowa State University – will lead writing workshops titled “Our People. Our Places. Our Stories”, one of which will take place at the Heart of America Library, with sessions on Feb. 8 and Feb. 22. Marquart will present at workshops throughout the state.

“It’s so great to sit around a table with people from all different walks of life and lead them through a series of discussions about literature and creative writing prompts that will allow them to unearth their stories,” Marquart said in an email.

Marquart is the writer of five books: “The Horizontal World: Growing up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere” – a memoir about growing up in North Dakota; poetry collections titled “From Sweetness” and “Everything’s a Verb”; “The Hunger Bone: Rock N Roll Stories” – a collection of interrelated short stories; and the soon-to-be-released poetry collection, “Small Buried Things”. She also has a sixth book in the works, “Schizophonia: Notes on a Life in Music”.

Marquart grew up in Napoleon and attended college in Bismarck. She then went to Moorhead State University and Iowa State University.

“I guess my education and job offers pretty much dictated my moves geographically,” Marquart said. “I’m always looking for a way to get back to North Dakota, so I was thrilled with the invitation from the N.D. Humanities Council.”

In the 1980s, Marquart was a traveling musician and songwriter. One day she lost everything in a truck fire. She said it was that loss that got her started writing. In 1985 she took a detour and started publishing and taking classes in writing.

Marquart still plays music. She is involved in The Bone People, a rhythm and blues project, as well as singing and songwriting.

The writing workshop is sponsored by the N.D. Humanities Council, Village Arts and the Prairie Village Museum. Museum director Cathy Jelsing said the aim of the workshop and the aim of the museum correlate.

“The Prairie Village Museum is endorsing and providing marketing support for the workshop because it ties in with our mission to provide educational programming for the people we serve,” Jelsing said.

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