Colin Morton

Recent Tree Appearances

October 13, 2015
Tree Seed Workshop

Earlier Tree Appearances


In Print

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The Hundred Cuts: Sitting Bull and the Major
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Videos of Colin Morton

Schrödinger's Poet Readings
January 11, 2011
Featured Reader
November 23, 2010
Open Mic
October 26, 2010
Open Mic
September 22, 2009

Colin Morton

Colin Morton’s ten books of poetry include conversations with Sitting Bull (The Hundred Cuts) and the artist Kurt Schwitters (The Merzbook) and a look back at the 20th century (Dance, Misery).

Born in Toronto, raised and educated in Calgary, with an M.A. in English from University of Alberta (1979),  Colin Morton  has lived and worked in a majority of Canada's provinces and in the U.S., where he was writer-in-residence at Concordia College (Moorhead, MN, 1995-6) and Connecticut College (New London, CT, 1997).


Morton began publishing poetry and fiction in Canadian literary magazines in the 1970s, and his poetry now fills nine volumes. They range from the CBC award-winning documentary poem  The Merzbook: Kurt Schwitters Poems , about the artist's life and work, to the widely anthologized concrete poems collected with  The Merzbook  in  The Cabbage of Paradise  (Seraphim, 2007). Both  This Won't Last Forever  (Longspoon, 1985) and  Coastlines of the Archipelago  (BuschekBooks, 2001) received the Archibald Lampman Award.


In the 1980s, Morton was publisher of the Ottawa small press Ouroboros and explored the potential of cross-media collaboration with the performance group First Draft. Collaborations involved musical extensions of the verse line and the choral qualities of the spoken voice. A parallel collaboration with animator Ed Ackerman led to the Genie-nominated film  Primiti Too Taa . In the 1990s, this side of Morton's work was expressed in his performance of poetry with the music-poetry groups Sugarbeat and Sonic Circle.


Morton has taught from junior high to college and adult levels, spent a decade as an editor in the federal government, and is currently a freelance writer-editor in Ottawa. His poetry of the 21st century has shown an increasingly philosophical turn and expansive, historical themes, as in the long poems  Dance, Misery  (Seraphim, 2003) and  The Hundred Cuts: Sitting Bull and the Major  (BuschekBooks, 2009).