Personal profile

Personal profile

Mark Sanders recently won the Western Heritage Award for Landscapes, with Horses, Outstanding Book of Poetry for 2019 from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.  That collection also won the Honor Poetry Nebraska Book Award for 2019.  He is a poet, creative essayist, fiction writer, and literary critic, with more than 500 publications appearing in journals in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Canada.  His short story, “Why Guineas Fly,” was selected as one of 100 outstanding short stories for 2007 by Stephen King in Best American Short Stories; his essay, “Homecoming Parade,” was selected as one of the outstanding works of the year in the 2016 edition of Best American Essays.  His writing has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes more than a dozen times and been listed among the notable works in Pushcart.  He has had poetry featured in American Life in Poetry, a syndicated series published by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, and on the Poetry Foundation website.

Among his books of poetry are The Suicide (1988), Before We Lost Our Ways (1996), Here in the Big Empty (2006), and Conditions of Grace: New and Selected Poems (2011).  Edited works include:  On Common Ground: The Poetry of William Kloefkorn, Ted Kooser, Greg Kuzma, and Don Welch (with J. V. Brummels, 1983); Jumping Pond: Poems and Stories from the Ozarks (with Michael Burns, 1983); Three Generations of Nebraska Poets (with Stephen Meats, 2011); Riddled with Light: Metaphor in the Poetry of W. B. Yeats (2014); The Weight of the Weather: Regarding the Poetry of Ted Kooser (2017); and, A Sandhills Reader:  30 Years of Great Writing from the Great Plains (2015).

The Weight of the Weather won the 2018 Nebraska Book Award in the biography category, and A Sandhills Reader won the 2016 Nebraska Book Award for an anthology.

His newest collection of poetry is In a Good Time, published by Wayne State College Press in September 2019.

Sanders is the long-time editor of Sandhills Press, a small, independent press which he started in his  hometown in Ord, Nebraska in 1979.  For his work in promoting the poetry of emerging and established Nebraska writers, he won the Mildred Bennett Award from the Nebraska Center for the Book in 2007 for fostering Nebraska’s literary heritage.
He is Associate Dean of the College of Liberal and Applied Arts and Professor of English at Stephen F. Austin State University.

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