Marc Harshman was born and raised in Randolph County, Indiana. Growing up in rural Indiana, books allowed Harshman to imagine knowing other people and places around the world and credits this along with his parents being devoted readers to his becoming a poet and children’s author. He attended Bethany College in West Virginia, graduating in 1973. Harshman then went on to earn a Master of Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School in 1975 and a Master of Arts in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1978. Later in life Harshman has received honorary doctorates from his alma mater, Bethany College, and West Liberty University for the recognition of his life's work.
Marc Harshman's Woman in Red Anorak won the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize
and was published in 2018 by Lynx House Press. His poetry collection,
Believe What You Can, published in 2016 by West Virginia University
Press, won the Weatherford Award from the Appalachian Studies Association.
It was also named the Appalachian Book of the Year by the Mountain Heritage
Literary Festival in Tennessee. Poems have been anthologized by Kent
State University, the University of Iowa, University of Georgia, SPM
Publications [London], West Virginia University, the University of Arizona,
and many others. He was the co-winner of the 2019 Allen Ginsberg Poetry
Award and his Thanksgiving poem "Dispatch from the Mountain State," was
printed in the 2020 Thanksgiving edition of The New York Times.
Harshman's fourteenth children's book, Fallingwater: The Building of
Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece, co-written with Anna Smucker, was
published by Roaring Brook/Macmillan in 2017 and has been an Amazon Book
of the Month choice, as well as a Junior Library Guild selection. A
previous title, The Storm, was a Smithsonian Notable Book for
Children. His children's books have been translated into Danish, Korean,
Swedish, Spanish, and Japanese.
Visit Marc's new PERSONAL
BLOG for a continually updated list of future appearances, a wide
range of articles about Marc and reviews of his books, a comprehensive
list of Marc's publications (both poetry & children's books), a page
about previous West Virginia poets laureate, and links to scholarly
articles about Appalachian poetry.
Marc Harshman has been Poet Laureate of West Virginia since 2012.
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