Tony Morris was born in North Carolina, and spent his childhood in the Appalachia Mountains of North Georgia and Eastern Kentucky. Much of his poetry and fiction reflects the region’s influence on his imagination. He moved to California in his early teens, then headed back to North Carolina in his early twenties. Until his mid-thirties, Morris worked a series of odd jobs (bicycle repairman, window glazier, encyclopedia salesman) and ten years as a machine operator in a carbon paper factory.
In 1992, Morris quit the factory job, started to college, and found a life in journalism. He began writing poetry in 1995, and decided to apply to a writing program to give himself more time to work on his creative writing. He earned a Ph.D. in English from Florida State University, and currently works at Armstrong-Atlantic State University, in Savannah, GA where he teaches creative writing and journalism courses, and works as the managing editor of Southern Poetry Review. He is the director of the Ossabaw Island Writers’ Retreat.
Morris’s most recent book, Pulling at a Thread (Main Street Rag, 2015), was a finalist for both the 2014 Anhinga Poetry Prize, and the Philip Levine Poetry Book Prize. His first book of poems, Fugue’s End won the 2004 Mary Belle Campbell Poetry Book Award, published by Birch Brook Press. His second book, Back to Cain, was published by The Olive Press (2005). His most recent chapbook, Greatest Hits: 1996-2011, was published by Kattywompus Press (2013). Morris’s poems have been awarded the Louisiana Literature Poetry Prize, and theTennessee Writers Alliance Poetry Award, and have been published in over fifty national journals, including: Spoon River Review, Hawai’i Review, Southern Poetry Review, River Styx, Meridian, The Sewanee Theological Review, South Dakota Review, Potomac Review, and many others. He is widely published in anthologies, including:Georgia Poetry Anthology (Negative Capability Press, 2015), Southern Poetry Anthology: North Carolina(2014), What Matters (2014), Southern Poetry Anthology: Georgia (2012).