Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mark Turcotte  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children; Children;

Born: North Dakota

-- Mark Turcotte on NativeWiki --
-- Website --
-- Mark Turcotte on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Lived in Chicago from 1993-1996.

Biographical and Professional Information

Turcotte is a Native American poet. As an infant, he lived on North Dakota's Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation and in the migrant camps of the western United States. He later moved and grew up in and around Lansing, Michigan. After leaving school he traveled the country, working and living on the road for nearly fifteen years. Arriving in Chicago in the spring of 1993 Turcotte rediscovered his love of words and writing 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.He currently lives and works out of Chicago and Kalamazoo

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Songs of Our Ancestors: Poems About Native Americans (Many Voices, One Song)
ISBN: 0516451545

Childrens Pr. 1995

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

Road noise: A poem
ISBN: B0006R7Q9K

Mesilla Press. 1998

Exploding Chippewas (Triquarterly Books)
ISBN: 0810151227

Triquarterly. 2002

Everything this poet touches is volatile-the poet himself, the people and world around him, ideas and mythologies, the ghosts of memory and the dream of possible futures, all seem to burst into fragments. Mark Turcotte uses poetry to gather up the pieces-the shards of joy and grief, peace and doubt, strength and temptation, questions and answers-as he tries to define and rediscover what is lost when everyday life becomes explosive.

The Feathered Heart (American Indian Studies)
ISBN: 0870134825

Michigan State University Press. 1998

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 of Native American burial sites and objects by archeologists," is dedicated "to an ancient woman taken from the Earth near New Lenox, Illinois in the winter 1993/94."


Mark was the recipient of a 2001-2002 Lannan Foundation Literary Completion Grant, and has been awarded 1999 and 2003 Literary Fellowships by the Wisconsin Arts Board. He has completed a National Book Foundation American Voices assignment at the Wind River Indian Reservation of Wyoming, and a Lannan Writer's Residency in Marfa, Texas.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

, contact Prancing Moose Arts PO Box 1001 Sister Bay, Wisconsin 54234