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Short stories and short-short stories about traveling rock musicians that focus on the unseen, less than glamorous side of touring as a struggling rock band—the personal tolls, the grueling poverty, the gnawing hunger for fame, and the small and unlikely moments of redemption. These characters are slowly realizing that their dreams are slipping away, that age and hard living have worn them down, that their funky, rootless, rock & roll lives have not taken on the grandeur they'd envisioned.
Debra Marquart is a professor of English in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University and an affiliated faculty member with the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at University of Southern Maine. A performance poet, Marquart is the author of two poetry collections: Everything's a Verb (New Rivers Press, 1995) and From Sweetness (Pearl Editions, 2002).
In the 1970s and '80s, Marquart was a touring road musician with rock and heavy metal bands. Her collection of short stories, The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories (New Rivers Press, 2001) 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 released two CDs: Orange Parade (acoustic rock); and A Regular Dervish (jazz-poetry).
Marquart's memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere received the 2007 PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award, the Elle Lettres Award from Elle Magazine, and a New York Times "Editors' Choice" commendation.