Robert Morgan

Robert Morgan

Robert Morgan is the author of the award-winning and best-selling novel Gap Creek, an Oprah Book Club selection in 2000 and winner of the Southern Book Award for fiction, presented by the Southern Book Critics Circle. His earlier novel The Truest Pleasure was a finalist for the same award and was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book. He studied at Emory College at Oxford and at North Carolina State University before earning a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1965 and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1968. He teaches at Cornell University.

Excerpt from Letter of Support for Jackson Library's Application for the Designation of Literary Landmark

Young writers go to Paris, to Greenwich Village and San Francisco, to MFA programs, looking for their true reader. Many never find that reader who validates and inspires them. But I was lucky. In the summer of 1967 I found Fred Chappell….

When I arrived on the campus in January of 1967, I felt immediately the respect accorded me by the faculty and other students. Art and writing were important there, thanks to a tradition begun years before by Allen Tate, Peter Taylor, and Randall Jarrell, and continued by Robert Watson, James Applewhite, and Fred Chappell…

On days when I wanted to rest my eyes, when I had a spare hour or half an hour, I would go the listening room on the second floor [of Jackson Library]. There I could hear the classical and baroque music I loved most, and listen to recordings of authors reading their own work. There I heard T.S. Eliot speak "The Waste Land" in a dry British accent, and Ezra Pound reciting and intoning the Cantos. Most memorable was Wallace Stevens reading in his rich, slow voice "The Idea of Order at Key West." I carried away from that room a new sense of living language, the immediacy of the voice, and the thrilling possibilities just at the tip of my own tongue and pen.

-- Robert Morgan