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Poet, Writer Mark Turcotte to Lecture at Northwestern

Writer to discuss his own poetry and works by other Native American poets

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May 14, 2014 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Poet and fiction writer Mark Turcotte -- writer-in-residence at Northwestern University’s Center for the Writing Arts -- will share his own and the works of other Native American poets when he lectures at the University Tuesday, May 27.

Turcotte’s free and public lecture will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 201 of University Hall, 1897 Sheridan Road, on the University’s Evanston campus. A question-and- answer session and book signing will follow. 

In “Talking Back/Taking Back: Reappropriation in Native Poetry,” Turcotte will discuss attempts by many Native writers to address the long history of misrepresentation and appropriation created by non-Native authors. His writing often reflects his own experiences straddling the line between Natives and whites.

Turcotte is the author of four poetry collections, including “The Feathered Heart” and “Exploding Chippewas.” He has written poetry and short fiction for TriQuarterly, Poetry, Hunger Mountain, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review and numerous other literary journals. 

He arrived in Chicago in the early 1990s and quickly established himself as a unique voice in the city’s thriving poetry scene. In 1993, he won the first Gwendolyn Brooks Open-Mic Award and was named a “significant Illinois poet” by Brooks. 

He has since been a writer-in-residence for the National Book Foundation’s “American Voices” project and earned a Lannan Writer’s Residency in Marfa, Texas. His work is part of the National Endowment for the Arts/Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Out Loud, a recitation project conducted in high schools nationwide.

For more information about Turcotte’s lecture, visit the Center for the Writing Arts or email words@northwestern.edu.