Rusty Morrison was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her B.A. in English at Mills College, completed an M.A. in education through San Francisco State University. For several years, she worked as an English teacher for the Berkeley Unified School District, and then returned to school in 1999 to complete an M.F.A. at Saint Mary’s College so as to pursue her interest in poetry.
In 2001, she and her husband Ken Keegan began Omnidawn Publishing, which they co-edit. In 2002, she was awarded the Lori and Deke Hunter Fellowship, a five-week residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. In 2003, she co-won the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Five Fingers Review Poetry Prize. Her collection Whethering was selected by Forrest Gander to win the 2004 Colorado Prize for Poetry, and was published by the Colorado Center for Literary Publishing, distributed by the University Press of Colorado. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and small magazines.
Besides being the co-editor and co-publisher of Omnidawn, Morrison is a contribution editor for Poetry Flash and one of five editors of 26, a journal of poetry and poetics published in affiliation with Saint Mary’s College. She has taught in the composition and January Term programs at Saint Mary’s, and in the University of San Francisco’s MFA program in creative writing.
Morrison writes of her poetry: “I appreciate the intractability of perceiving as it looks back to perception, though I nonetheless continue to look into poems for a glimpse of the now as it ruptures the previously coherent already. And, while I am cautious of simple metaphoric or allegoric assimilation of like to like, which may obscure the incipient idiosyncrasies of both, I still will risk saying that it is in the reading and, if I’m luck, in the writing of poems that I come to see how two yellow chairs make a blue that couldn’t exist without them.”
BOOKS OF POETRY
Whethering (Fort Collins, Colorado: The Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University, 2004)
Click below for the poem: