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Barton Sutter Collection: Biography

Online finding aid for the Barton Sutter Collection, house in the UW-Superior Special Collections

Barton Sutter

Barton Sutter
Photo Credit: Mary Lofgren

Biographical Note

Barton Sutter was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on December 15, 1949, the son of Harold Edwin and Virginia Mae Sutter. Sutter attended Bemidji State University from 1967-1969 and then proceeded to Southwest State University where, in 1972, he received a B.A. in Language Arts. In 1975 he received a M.A. in creative writing from Syracuse University. Sutter went on to work at several different institutions: St. John’s University; University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; and University of Minnesota, Duluth. In 2011 he retired from the University of Wisconsin-Superior after more than a decade as a full-time instructor.

Sutter’s work covers a wide range of genres, including poems, short stories, and books-length pieces. He is the only author to have received the Minnesota Book Award in all three categories: poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. My Father’s War and Other Stories (Viking, 1991; University of Minnesota, 2000) won the 1992 Minnesota Book Award in Fiction; The Book of Names: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions, 1993) won the 1994 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry; and Cold Comfort: Life at the Top of the Map (University of Minnesota, 1998), won the 1999 Minnesota Book Award for Creative Non-fiction.

Sutter settled in Duluth, Minnesota, where he feels most inspired. Much of his writing reflects his feelings and attitudes towards the region. Stories such as The Bridge and Dull and Out of It display the unique characteristics of Duluth, Minnesota.