Christopher Merrill has published seven collections of poetry, including Necessities (White Pine Press, 2013) and Watch Fire (White Pine Press 1995), for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. He has many edited volumes and translations and published six books of nonfiction, among them, Self-Portrait with Dogwood (Trinity University Press, 2017); The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War (Milkweed Editions, 2011); Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain (Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2005); and Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2001). His writings have been translated into nearly forty languages and his journalism appears widely.
Merrill’s honors include a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, numerous translation awards, and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial and Ingram Merrill Foundations.
As director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa since 2000, Merrill has conducted cultural diplomacy missions to more than fifty countries and was a senior Fulbright specialist in both Poland and Russia. He also served on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO from 2011–18, and in April 2012, President Barack Obama appointed him to the National Council on the Humanities.