Matthew Morris

Matthew Morris
PhD Candidate, Graduate Instructor, Gus T. Ridgel Fellow

B.A. in English (Literary Prose Writing) with Distinction, University of Virginia 

MFA in Creative Nonfiction, University of Arizona

Ph.D. in English with Creative Writing emphasis, University of Missouri (expected 2029) 


Matthew Morris (he/him) is a mixed-race writer of creative nonfiction (his father African American, his mother white) born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Arlington, Virginia. His collection of essays, The Tilling, explores Black/white identity through the trope of the tragic mulatto. He hopes someday to write a literary biography of two ancestors: John Peyton Morris, a Methodist preacher and professor of Greek and math born into slavery, and Virginia Sorenson, a novelist of Mormon literature’s “lost generation.” For fun, Matthew plays league tennis, pickup basketball, and fingerstyle guitar. At Mizzou, he is a Ph.D. candidate in English and creative writing, a graduate instructor, and a proud recipient of a Gus T. Ridgel Fellowship. 

Awards and Honors

Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize, Seneca Review Books, 2023

Michael Collier Scholarship in nonfiction, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, 2022

Michael J. Steinberg Memorial Essay Prize (co-recipient), Fourth Genre, 2021 

Intro Journals Project award, Association of Writers and Writing Programs, 2020

Notable essay, Best American Essays 2020

Selected Publications

The Tilling, essay collection, Seneca Review Books, fall 2024

“Pardo/Ghost Hand,” essay, Mid-American Review, 2022

“Fucked Fable,” essay, Fourth Genre, 2022

“The No Longer,” essay, Seneca Review, 2022

“Tidal Wave,” essay, apt, 2019

Areas of Study