Current Montana Poet Laureate
A Montana native, Mark is the author of 11 volumes of poetry. He’s also a 2013 recipient of the Montana Arts Council’s Artist Innovation Award and is the editor of FootHills Publishing’s Montana Poets Series. His newest collection, “In the Weeds,” was recently published by Drumlummon Institute. Mark has also served as a mentor and judge for Poetry Out Loud, the national student recitation competition, and has taught poetry in schools for the past three decades.
Marks’ early love of poetry began listening to songs and psalms, Robert Service and Shakespeare, any orations involving language, stories, and music. He holds BAs in English and Psychology and an MFA in creative writing at the University of Montana.
Like a lot of area poets, Mark has also held down a variety of classic Montana jobs: dishwasher, janitor, carpenter, wood cutter, gandy dancer, surveyor, firefighter, furniture mover, laborer, truck driver, and teacher. In between doing all that, Mark has managed to publish work in numerous poetry journals and anthologies, and his solo collections include “Something Inside Us,” “Circling Home,” “Connemara Moonshine,” “blue horizon,” “War, Madness, & Love,” “Mauvaises Herbes (Weeds),” “Forgotten Dreams,” “Shadowboxing,” “The Imitation Blues,” “mostly cloudy,” and “In the Weeds.”
Poets in Montana Project
As Poet Laureate, Mark has created a new video series, Poets in Montana. In each segment a poet living in state will chat informally with Mark and share a sampling of their verse. The episodes will be available for viewing on this site and at mcat.org and new episodes will be uploaded regularly.