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Features and Media

Ten Years After Arab Spring: Talk with Khaled Mattawa

As part of a writers' series marking the 10th anniversary of the Arab uprisings, Ten Years After The Arab Spring features the voices of award-winning writers reflecting on the past decade through the lens of their writings and personal experiences.


In February, Chris sat and talked to Khaled Mattawa about his most recent book, Fugitive Atlas, a poetry collection about refugee crises, military occupations, and ecological degradation, an acute and probing journey through a world in upheaval. Watch the talk on the Middle East Institute's website


Hosted by The Middle East Institute's Arts and Culture Center and the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center at George Mason University. 

Cultural Postmortem 2020

How can artists and scholars help the nation contend with the peril in which we find ourselves—starting with our own campuses? The 2020 US presidential race was one of the most politically and ideologically divisive and contentious races that we've ever seen. And as the events of January 6, 2021 have illustrated, the nation remains divided to the point where political leaders at the highest level are challenging election results without any evidence or basis in reality and a largely white group of insurrectionists tried to overthrow the US government.


Chris, along with Professor Ruth Ellen Kocher (University of Colorado, Boulder) and Professor Malinda Maynor Lowery (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) reflect on the cultural, social, and political fall-out from the 2020 election and imagine paths forward.


Watch the event recording here

"For Marvin Bell," A Tribute To A Friend

Marvin Bell (1937-2020)

Chris celebrates the life and legacy of Marvin Bell who was a prolific poet, professor, collaborator, and friend. Read his memorial essay on Air/Light Magazine


In the span of their long friendship, Chris and Marvin wrote together often. Some of these hours led to the writing of After The Fact: Scripts and Postscripts, a book that is collaboration at its finest. 


Sneak Peek: Flares (May 2021)

Here's something to get you excited for the publication of Chris's upcoming poetry collection, Flares! Six never-before-seen prose poems: "Market Conditions," "Oligarchy," "Excavation," "Faith," "The Wedding," and "Home." Read them here

Emily Dickinson was right: ‘Hope is a strange invention’

J. Scott Applewhite

Chris writes an essay about hope as we sit on the precipice of a near-ending Trump presidency and the start of a new Biden administration. Read it here

Hebrew Translations by Ronny Someck

Israeli poet Ronny Someck's translation of a section of Chris's longer poem, "Entourage," is featured alongside a translation of a poem by the Swedish Nobel Laureate, Tomas Tranströmer. The delightful double portrait, also by Ronny, is of Tomas and Chris. Check it out! 

Dream Loaf 2020

A 2017 recorded lecture by Chris titled, "Corrective Readings: Translation in the Age of Trump" is part of Dream Loaf, the new form of the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' and Translators' Conference.

Enjoy this curation of archived lectures and readings, free and available all summer! Click here.

Reflecting On The Current Crisis With Christopher Merrill

Listen to the latest installment of Iowa Public Radio's River to River where host Ben Kieffer speaks with Chris. They talk about about Chris's thoughts on "the perfect storm" of a co-occuring national racial justice movement and economic downfall due to COVID-19. Listen here!

Interview with Mutiu Olawuyi

Chris was recently interviewed by Mutiu Olawuyi for Artflakes: New World Literary Hub on CBA TV English. Tune into their conversation here!

5 Authors of Brutally Honest and Surprising Memoirs

A nice plug for Self-Portrait with Dogwood from the good folks at