ASC Creative Writing Program Welcomes Writer Mark Turcotte

(03-22-2005)

The Adams State College English/Creative Writing Program is excited to announce that it will welcome one of the leading voices in Native American Literature, poet Mark Turcotte, to campus on Thursday, April 7th, 2005.

Mark Turcotte will visit Dr. Carol Guerrero-Murphy's "Poetry Now" course from 11:00am-12:15pm and join the class' discussion on the current trends and pressures in contemporary poetry. At 2:30pm, Mr. Turcotte will engage in a "Conversation with the Writer," a discussion regarding the writing process and his life as a writer. This conversation will be facilitated by ASC Faculty and students and will be held at Leon Memorial Hall.

Finally, Mr. Turcotte will cap his visit with a poetry reading at 8pm at Leon Memorial Hall. The winner of the first Gwendolyn Brooks Open-Mic Award, Mr. Turcotte's writing and verbal stylings will be anything but traditional.

The public is welcome to all of these events.

Mark Turcotte spent his earliest years on North Dakota's Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation and in the migrant camps of the western United States. Later, he grew up in and around Lansing, Michigan. After leaving school he traveled the country, working and living on the road for nearly fifteen years. His frank and direct poetry draws on this diverse background of experiences.

His latest book of poems, Exploding Chippewas, contains a variety of interpretations on his heritage as an Ojibwa, his travels across the country, and his experiences as a writer that are at once humorous, startling, and deeply impressionable.

Best-selling author Louise Erdrich notes, "Mark Turcotte's work is powered by anger, hilarity, and an earthy tenderness that grabs the heart and wont let go." Famed Native American poet and novelist Sherman Alexie says Mark's poetry, "feels like there is something new going on in Native American literature... There are no forced apologies... and no desperate and nostalgic reaches into the past."

A widely published and awarded writer, Mark Turcotte's writing has been featured in Poetry, Ploughshares, Free Verse, the Missouri Review, and many other publications. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, was selected in 1999 as a Literary Fellow by the Wisconsin Art Board, and in 2001 he received the Lannan Foundation Literary Completion Grant.

From Yale University to the National Council of Teachers of English Conference to the Nebraska State Penitentiary, Turcotte regularly reads from his work at schools, universities, conferences and literary festivals around the nation. He currently lives in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, with his wife and son.

Mark Turcotte's visit is co-sponsored by the Fine Arts Fund of the ASC Foundation, the Cross Cultural Center at Adams State College, and the student group Native Unity. For more information on his visit, please call 719-587-7862.