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Christopher Merrill Appointed to NEH Council

April 10, 2012 – On April 4, 2012, President Obama appointed Christopher Merrill to serve on the National Council on the Humanities. A poet, essayist, journalist, and translator, Merrill was nominated by President Obama on June 8, 2011 and confirmed by the Senate on March 29, 2012. 

Merrill currently serves as director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He has published four collections of poetry, including Brilliant Water and Watch Fire, for which he received the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. He has also published translations of Aleš Debeljak’s Anxious Moments and The City of the Child, edited several volumes, and published five books of nonfiction, The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, and The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War.

Prior to joining the University of Iowa, Merrill held the William H. Jenks Chair in Contemporary Letters at the College of Holy Cross. In 2008, Merrill led the initiative that resulted in the selection of Iowa City as a UNESCO City of Literature, a part of the Creative Cities Network. Merrill received a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.A. from the University of Washington.

The National Council on the Humanities is a board of 26 private citizens charged, by statute, with (1) advising the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities with respect to Endowment policies, programs, and procedures, and with (2) reviewing grant applications and making recommendations to the Chairman. National Council members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  Merrill replaces archaeologist Iris Love, whose term has expired. He will serve until January 26, 2016. Council member bios are available on the NEH website

Additional information is available on the NEH website

[This article posted by: Erin Mosley] 

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