A Poet, Essayist and Nature Lover
Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing (GPCW) is delighted to announce the appointment of poet, essayist and nature lover, CMarie Fuhrman, to both the Poetry and the Nature Writing concentrations.
“CMarie Fuhrman’s great talents as both a poet and a nonfiction writer make her the ideal person to hold our program’s first joint appointment,” said GPCW Director Tyson Hausdoerffer. “We are excited by how this will allow for even stronger collaborations between Nature Writing and Poetry. This is also a key step in our plan to put Western on the map as the best place to pursue advanced work in the growing field of eco-poetics.”
Fuhrman is perhaps best known for her work as co-editor of Native Voices (Tupelo 2019), an anthology of Indigenous poetry and prose. This anthology, which is already required reading in the Nature Writing program, underscores the importance of craft and critical approaches being more inclusive. As she writes in the introduction,
“I would stand at the front of the classroom and look into the eyes of the one Native student, thinking how wrong it was that I needed to deliver the words of our ancestors through the opinions, written in books of craft and theory, of the same people who had colonized them … I longed for a text to accompany the course which would teach a Native way of knowing.”
Nature as a Character
Since then, her anthology has become the go-to text for just that and is widely considered an essential and comprehensive collection of urgent and eloquent Indigenous American writing.
Fuhrman also serves as editor, alongside Laura Pritchett, at High Desert Journal, one of the premier literary journals of the American West. They share a love for contemporary and complex place-based writing—and living.
“Much of my growing happened outside,” said Fuhrman. “My family camped and hiked and fished and ate our meals outside. When my parents told stories, nature was a character. In the summer, my dad moved my bed onto our open patio where I fell asleep staring at Horsetooth Mountain and the Milky Way. Some nights I forsook my bed for grass. And I still do. Though the location is wilder, I remain as curious about and comfortable outside as I was on that lawn 40 years ago.”
Finding Inspiration and Increasing Awareness
Her dedication to nature, writing, and nature writing has a specific origin.
“Sometime in the early 90s, I read John Graves’ Goodbye to a River,” she noted. “Until then, I did not know how I combine my passion for nature and writing. Through Graves, and eventually others, I learned that strong writing can inspire and educate; can exult and lament and protect landscapes and beings.”
In addition to her commitment to increasing awareness of Indigenous writings, she brings a great love of teaching.
“An elder once said to me that education is worthless until it is shared,” she said. “I’m honored to join Western’s MFA and M.A. Poetry and Nature Writing program and live my elder’s advice by sharing and learning from my colleagues and students. I look forward to working with a community of writers who share my passion for writing that educates, celebrates, helps preserve and protect wild places and the beings within.”
She’s written for many journals, including Emergence Magazine, Yellow Medicine Review, Cutthroat a Journal of the Arts, Whitefish Review, Broadsided Press, Taos International Journal of Poetry and Art, as well as several anthologies. She’s also the author of the book of poems Camped Beneath the Dam: Poems (Floodgate 2020). You can find out more at cmariefuhrman.com.
Author Credit: Laura Pritchett
Photo Credit: Courtesy