Robert Morgan

Robert MorganRandi Anglin
Robert Morgan grew up in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at both Chapel Hill and Greensboro, where he studied with the poet Fred Chappell. After working as a salesman, house-painter, and farmer, he joined the faculty of Cornell University where he teaches English and creative writing.

Although some consider Morgan an Appalachian regional writer (a title he does not find pejorative), Morgan has lived for most of his adult life in central New York State, where he has taught at Cornell University since the early 1970s. In both his poetry and prose, Morgan explores Appalachian culture, often drawing on strange and haunting family legends (passed down from his Welsh immigrant ancestors) as a starting point. His work avoids condescension or caricature as it portrays the lives of poor families in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

In recent years Morgan has gained wide recognition as a prose writer, in large part due to the fact that Oprah Winfrey selected his novel Gap Creek for her book club in 2000. His fiction aesthetic is deliberately antipoetic: He prefers a lean style that allows him to focus on narrative conflict. Morgan’s novels are also notable for the fact that he usually chooses to write from the voice of a female protagonist. He is the author of a biography of Daniel Boone.

Morgan and his wife Nancy K. Bullock live in Ithaca, New York.

(Poetry Foundation, 2006)

POETRY
Zirconia Poems. Northwood Narrows, New Hampshire: Lillabulero Press, 1969.
The Voice in the Crosshairs. Ithaca, New York: Angelfish Press, 1971.
Red Owl. New York: Norton, 1972.
Land Diving. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1976.
Trunk & Thicket. Fort Collins, Colorado: L’Epervier Press, 1978.
Groundwork. Frankfort, Kentucky: Gnomon Press, 1979.
Bronze Age. Emory, Virginia: Iron Mountain Press, 1981.
At the Edge of the Orchard Country. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1987.
Sigodlin. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1990.
Green River: New and Selected Poems. Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1991.
Wild Peavines: New Poems. Frankfort, Kentucky: Gnomon Press, 1996.
Topsoil Road: Poems. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000.
The Strange Attractor: New and Selected Poems. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004.
Terroir. New York: Penguin, 2011.


OTHER
The Blue Valleys: A Collection of Stories. Atlanta, Georgia: Peachtree Publishers, 1989.
The Mountains Won’t Remember Us and Other Stories. Atlanta, Georgia: Peachtree Publishers, 1992.
The Hinterlands: A Mountain Tale in Three Parts. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin, 1994.
The Truest Pleasure. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books, 1995.
Gap Creek. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books, 1999.
The Balm of Gilead Tree and Other Stories. Frankfort, Kentucky: Gnomon Press, 1999.
Good Measure: Essays, Interviews and Notes on Poetry. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993.
This Rock. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books, 2001.
Brave Enemies: A Novel of the American Revolution. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books, 2003.

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POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Robert Morgan

Biography

Robert Morgan grew up in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at both Chapel Hill and Greensboro, where he studied with the poet Fred Chappell. After working as a salesman, house-painter, and farmer, he joined the faculty of Cornell University where he teaches English and creative writing.

Although some consider Morgan an Appalachian regional writer (a title he . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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