Alyson Morris is Course Director for English and Creative Writing at Coventry University. She writes poetry and short stories, and has just started a novel set in post-war Berlin (Ph.D). Her most recent published work is a poetry collection in an anthology by Earlyworks Press called This is a book about Alice (2012). The title of the anthology is based on her featured poem Hole, wherein she resurrects characters from Alice in Wonderland. In 2011, Alyson was commended by Aesthetica magazine for her short story Simon’s Body as ‘a recommended read’. She has been a lecturer since 2003, and has a BA Ed. (Hons.) teaching degree with design, technology and computer studies, an English as a Secondary Language teaching qualification, and an MA in Creative Writing. You can see Alyson's profile on Academia.edu.
Alyson Morris in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?I started writing poetry in the 70s, was published in the 80s in Sydney.
What do you love about Short Stories?I love ‘showing’ a character in just a few pages, and inferring a bigger picture is great fun.
Do you write in other forms?Apart from poetry, I have started a novel based on a real life experience in post-war Germany. It’s about my father who died in 1980. There’s a lot of research to do, and I feel excited about finding out more about his character through mixing fiction and fact.
What distracts you from writing?Me. Laziness. Coventry University.
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?I design and make clothes, play guitar (badly), sing (badly), play piano (better than guitar), and I’m an all round crafts person. I love music: rock and blues/jazz. I’ve just acquired a guitalele – I’m in love.
What is your favourite book?Isn’t it a cliché now? Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings! Escapism when I don’t like this world – I’m a hobbit, black rider, wizard, elf... It’s the only book I can climb into and swim across the pages into another world; I even like the nibbled cover (my rabbit). And I’m afraid Harry Potter is a favourite too. I have Hermione’s wand, and I’ve met many Voldemorts. Apart from those particular fantasies, I’ve recently become a fan of Lionel Shriver’s storytelling and have swum across many of her worlds now.
Who are your favourite writers?Milan Kundera, Laurie Lee and Lionel Shriver
Where is your dream location?Dreamy Kerala, India
What one item would you put into Room 101?The Daily Mail
Do you have any advice for new writers?My advice would be to think you’re creating the greatest character of all time.
Work by Alyson Morris:
Rebirth in Earth
An estranged daughter goes to her father's funeral. "I am sitting on the fourth step curling my toes around the stair where the carpet is worn; the naughty step. I was left there once, forgotten; so I’d picked at the wallpaper. And here it is now, the same ripped hole. It’s almost time for my father’s funeral. A man who insisted on a vertical burial underneath a tree. This, of course, is understandable – he was a sixties teenager and wore a garden in his hair. I now imagine his body being lowered into a hole feet first, then being covered with soil, then being topped off with a baby oak. I can see the roots winding themselves around his neck. While picking at the wallpaper, once again – it’s been twenty years – I hear a van arriving. So, rising from my naughty step, I turn and give it a little pat before descending to heaven knows what. The van is yellow like my plumber’s, except this one has REBIRTH IN EARTH written on its side – thankfully with no painted flowers. Dad is inside the van, inside a cardboard box painted blue with lots of clouds on it. It looks like a screensaver..."
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