Featured Illinois Poet
Although this website's objective is simply to promote the art of poetry, its special focus is the rich bounty of work created by our state's poets past and present. Through features on the work of Illinois poets, the site will highlight the poetic legacy of Illinois and showcase the bevy of fine poets currently writing within the state.
Mark Turcotte (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) is author of four poetry collections, including The Feathered Heart and Exploding Chippewas. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in many literary journals, including TriQuarterly, POETRY, Hunger Mountain, Rosebud, Prairie Schooner, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Sentence and The Missouri Review.
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Landing in Chicago in the early 90s Turcotte quickly established himself as a unique voice in the city's thriving poetry scene. He was winner in 1993 of the 1st Gwendolyn Brooks Open-Mic Award, and was later named to the Illinois Authors poster. Over the years he's been the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Literary Grant, and has been awarded two Literary Fellowships by the Wisconsin Arts Board. He was a writer-in-residence for the National Book Foundation's 'American Voices' project, and was awarded a Lannan Writer's Residency in Marfa, Texas. His poem, The Flower On, was part of the Poetry Society of America's Poetry In Motion project, which placed poetry placards on public transportation in cities across the United States. His work is included in the NEA/Poetry Foundation high school recitation project Poetry Out Loud. In recent months he has been invited to share his work from Boston to Santa Fe to Fargo to Montepellier, France.
Turcotte holds an MFA from Western Michigan University. He served as the 2008-2009 Visiting Native Writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has recently returned to Chicago where he is currently serving as Visiting Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at DePaul University.