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Todd Marshall, Kansas Poet

Tod Marshall

Dare Say, Book Cover, Todd Marshall

The Tangled Line, Book Cover, Todd Marshall

Range of the Possibilities, Book Cover, Edited by Todd Marshall

Range of Voices, Book Cover, Edited by Todd Marshall





Tod Marshall, an associate professor of English at Gonzaga University, grew up in Wichita, Kansas. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Marshall directs the Gonzaga English Department's writing track and coordinates the Gonzaga University Visiting Writers Series.

Marshall currently lives in Spokane, Washington.

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Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)  


Edited By Tod Marshall:

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Writing Sample  

Admit Possession to Rent

We stopped at a farmer’s house
before parking at the dock
that creaked over the river.
Rowboats for rent, five bucks
an hour, twenty for the day.
Deep water: I knew a canvas bag

was in the trunk. I knew lunch
would be roast beef sandwiches
and hot stew from a thermos,
chunks of carrot and potatoes
cut by my mother who slept
through the racket of our leaving.

While my father paid, I loaded
the boat with our poles
and tackle boxes, lead sinkers
shaped like grey pears, raincoats
and a case of beer. I was ten
and I knew my dad would toss

that canvas bag into the aluminum
boat with a thunk. We fish for gar
with kittens, he’d yelled last night
at my mother, and that was that.
The rowboat slid from the dock,
the occasional clunk of the first

six-pack clipped on the fish stringer,
and I knew that I should take my time
fastening the wire leader
to the brass swivel, tying on
those massive sinkers. I knew
that the six-inch treble hook

would tremble in my hands,
and when I was done, I knew
what came next, a canvas bag,
stiff kittens, blood. I tore
two hooks through the side
of a calico, yanked upward with a

sharp tug to lodge the third barb
beneath the ribs. I dangled
my fingers in cold water
to wash them, then reared
the rod back into a cast that splashed
twenty feet from the boat.

He popped the third beer and finished
baiting his hook. Too deep
for an anchor, we drifted,
and far beneath, the gar cruised
back and forth, their prehistoric
snouts slicing the dark, bumping

our bait again and again
until that fierce hunger I was learning
said clamp down and take it.

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  • University of Georgia's Contemporary Poetry Series Award (2002)
  • Grant for Artist Projects Award (2002)
  • Artist Trust Fellowship Award (2002)
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