Poet and Stevens scholar Samuel French Morse was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1916. He earned a BA at Dartmouth College, an MA at Harvard University, and a PhD at Boston University.
Morse’s formal poetry offers richly observed detail and explores questions of nature, responsibility, and freedom. He published five poetry collections during his lifetime, including Time of Year (1943, with an introduction by Wallace Stevens). Ninety previously unpublished poems are included in the posthumous The Collected Poems (1995, edited by Guy Rotella). Morse was also the author of Wallace Stevens: Poetry as Life (1970) and the editor of Opus Posthumous: Poems, Prose, Plays by Wallace Stevens (1957).
His honors included the Emily Clark Balch Poetry Prize and the Arthur Davison Ficke Poetry Prize. From 1983 to 2009, Northeastern University Press awarded the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize in his honor.
Morse taught for 23 years at Northeastern University and also taught at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He lived in Boston until his death in 1985.