Scott Russell Morris is a writer, foodie, photographer, and enthusiast. He's a native of Southern California but can navigate the streets of Utah better. He owns a home in Texas and lives in South Korea, where he is an Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Utah Asia Campus. He enjoys spicy food and rarely orders the same thing twice at a restaurant. Scott earned a PhD in English from Texas Tech University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. With his wife, Kirsten, he has two children. No one has ever asked him who watches the children while he is at work. As a teenager, a friend nicknamed him “Skoticus” and that name has, ever since, been the calling card for his creative persona. He owns almost two hundred board games. Unless you count the time during high school PE he and a classmate both dove for the basketball and he snapped her pinky finger, he has never broken a bone.
Scott’s first collection of essays, Nothing in Particular, explores enthusiasm, travel, and connecting with strangers. Squirrels feature prominently. Nothing in Particular was a finalist for the 2018 Gournay Essay Prize and is now looking for a publishing home. To read an essay from this project, visit Proximity Magazine.
Scott’s second essay collection is (almost) all food-themed essays. Through examinations of meals domestic and exotic, Speaking of Dinner, tells the story of a young family trying, sometimes gracefully, oftentimes awkwardly, to raise a new family. The collection speaks specifically to domestic gender roles, difficulties in conception, the love of pie, and desires for lineage. The collection will be finished and ready to send to publishers by Spring 2020. For a taste of food writing, may I suggest “The Perfect Meal,” available at Parhelion.
Scott’s third on-going project is Essay on Drought, an essay in poems linked through themes of doubt, drought, and divination. It is a musing on bringing a daughter into the world and feelings of creative and spiritual depletion. There are an unfortunate number of dead birds in the collection. For a sample of Essay on Drought’s broody style, read “Ten-day Forecast” at River River Journal.
The next project, still in its infancy, is about the English red squirrel, nearly extinct due to the invasive American gray squirrel. In the Summer of 2020, Scott will be traveling to England and Scotland to volunteer with and interview conservation specialists. The project focuses on environmental impacts of globalization and colonization, as well as the human stories of conservation efforts.