Published: March 18, 2009
Like any good writer, Don Morrill does not wait for moments of inspiration to start writing.
So when Morrill, interim dean of The University of Tampa’s College of
Arts and Letters and professor of English, first began what would
develop into his latest book, a clear theme was not immediately
“Writing is a way of being in the world for me,” Morrill says. “You’re
more likely to be inspired if you seek inspiration, rather than waiting
for it to find you.”
The recently released book,
, is a collection
of essays, journal entries, reportage and other forms, with the
overriding theme of sleep and wakefulness. It is a book that Morrill
says emphasizes the notion of storytelling and the need to live with a
heightened attention to things.
“I consider the whole book a single work,” he says. “But it’s designed
so that a reader can find satisfaction from just dipping in and reading
covers a range of
topics, from things as personal and specific as Morrill’s youth in Iowa
and travels to China, Central America and elsewhere, to more universal
ideas of love and family. The theme of being awake to the world is one
Morrill says came about after years of writing.
“The book evolved a little like some poetry collections do,” Morrill
says. “When you begin to put the individual pieces together you start to
see that there are certain themes that emerge. I recognized that these
are not just themes for me, but for everybody.”
While not a
fiction writer, Morrill employs many of the same techniques of fiction,
giving the book and its stories a sense of immediacy.
His previous books include two collections of poetry,
At the Bottom of the Sky
With Your Back to Half the Day
(2005), and three books of nonfiction:
A Stranger’s Neighborhood
Sounding for Cool
The Untouched Minutes
(2004), which won the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Award. Morrill
says he already has another book of nonfiction in the works, as well as a
collection of poems.
Morrill will present a joint reading and book signing with poet Ellen
Doré Watson at 7 p.m. Friday, March 20, at Inkwood Books, located at 216
S. Armenia Ave. in Tampa.
He will also give a reading at 6:30 p.m. April 19 at Studio@620, located at 620 1
Ave. South in St. Petersburg.
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