Mark McMorris was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and earned a BA at Columbia University and an MA in creative writing and an MA and PhD in comparative literature at Brown University. He is the author of numerous poetry collections, including The Black Reeds (1997), which won a Contemporary Poetry Series prize from the University of Georgia Press; The Blaze of the Poui (2003), selected by C.D. Wright for the Contemporary Poetry Series and a finalist for a Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Café at Light (2004); Entrepôt (2014); and The Book of Landings (2016), the final volume in a trilogy that examines the legacies of diaspora, language, and lyric. McMorris’s critical writing has appeared widely, and his fiction has been published in journals such as Callaloo and Conjunctions.

McMorris is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Poetry. A professor of English at Georgetown University, he is former director of the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown, where he also served as director of the Lannan Literary Programs. In 2005, he was the Roberta C. Holloway Visiting Professor of Poetry at the University of California Berkeley.