Donald Morrill made his double debut in 1998, first with a collection of essayscalled A Stranger’s Neighborhood, and later that year with At the Bottom of the Sky, a book of poems, which the poet Frank X. Gaspar described as “agile, muscular language that brings both poet and reader closer to a sense of what it means to live in our complex, beautiful, and unforgiving world.” He has since continued to prove his artistic versatility, with three more non-fiction books, as well as a second book of poems, With Your Back to Half the Day (2005). The poet Sidney Wade writes of that book, “With high lyric gifts in his back pocket, Morrill stands on the shore and throws question after question into the sea of contradiction that is our contemporary reality.”
Morrill’s most recent publication, Impetuous Sleeper (2009), is a collection of essays regarding wakefulness and the virtue of being awake. Poet Lia Purpura notes that the book “delights in extravagant kinships: the measured and the spontaneous, the elegant and the unabashed, the metaphysical and the earth-bound.” Morrill’s work has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, and has garnered several prizes, including the Anne Halley Prize from The Massachusetts Review, the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Award, the American Library Association/AAUP Best of the Press Award, the Emerging Writers of Creative Nonfiction Award, the Mid-List Press First Series Award for poetry, and The Missouri Review Editors’ Prize for Nonfiction.
A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Morrill attended Drake University and the University of Florida. He has taught American Literature and Culture at Jilin University in the People’s Republic of China, and spent a year as a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Lodz, Poland. He has also served as the Bedell Visiting Writer in the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and currently teaches in the Low-Residency MFA program at Antioch Los Angeles. Formerly the poetry editor for the Tampa Review and the University of Tampa Press Poetry Series, he currently he serves as the Secretary and Southeast Programs Representative for AWP (Associated Writing Programs). Morrill is Dana Professor of English and Associate Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies at the University of Tampa.
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