Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mark Turcotte  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: North Dakota

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Illinois Connection

Turcotte has lived in Chicago. He currently teaches at DePaul University.

Biographical and Professional Information

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.

Arriving in Chicago in the spring of 1993 Turcotte rediscovered a love of words, began writing again, and quickly established himself as a unique voice in the city’s thriving poetry scene. That summer he was winner of the First Gwendolyn Brooks Open-mic Poetry Award.

After receiving an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, Turcotte served as the 2008-2009 Visiting Native Writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has now returned to Chicago where he teaches Creative Writing as Visiting Assistant Professor in English at DePaul University.


Turcotte was awarded 1999 and 2003 Literary Fellowships by the Wisconsin Arts Board, and he was the recipient of a 2001-2002 Lannan Foundation Literary Completion Grant. In 2004 he completed a National Book Foundation AmericanVoices assignment at Wind River, Wyoming, and a Lannan Writer’s Residency in Marfa, Texas.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

Exploding Chippewas /
ISBN: 0810151227. OCLC Number: 48951093

TriQuarterly Books,. .

Songs of our ancestors :
ISBN: 0516451545. OCLC Number: 31377158

Childrens Press,. .

A collection of more than twenty poems that focus on famous North American Indians and events in their history.

The feathered heart /
ISBN: 0870134825. OCLC Number: 774285372

Michigan State University Press,. .

This revised and expanded edition of The Feathered Heart, Mark Turcotte's celebrated collection of Native American poetry, brings traditional oral culture to print. Torn, painful, vibrant, and full of hope, his poetry weaves together the multilayered and textured fabric of contemporary Native American urban and rural existence. Appropriately, each poem in The Feathered Heart possesses a deeply lyrical quality. Raw emotion echoes in Turcotte's voice, in his verse, in the things he sees. ""Ten Thousand Thousand Bones, "" for example, ""a poem about the desecration.