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Bruce Morrow
Bruce Morrow receiving Revson Fellowship Judson Church
Occupation Writer
Nationality U. S. American

Bruce Morrow (born 1963 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American writer and fundraiser living in New York City.


Bruce Morrow was born in Cleveland, Ohio in a single-parent family. His mother, who’s now retired from General Motors, also supported her family as a seamstress at various sportswear companies, including the popular womenswear brand, Bobbie Brooks. He attended Marion-Sterling Elementary School, Taylor Road Elementary School and Wiley Junior High School before graduating from Cleveland Heights High School in 1981.

Following high school, he attended Rochester Institute of Technology and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and became a member of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity. For seven years, he served as a Research Associate at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, studying adrenergic receptors of infarcted hearts and heart transplant patients. He then received his Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing - Fiction from Columbia University School of the Arts in 1992 and became the Associate Director of Teachers & Writers Collaborative in New York City for eleven years. After receiving a 2007 Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship for Mid-Career Civic Leaders at Columbia University, Bruce Morrow was appointed the Associate Director of Institutional Giving at Bank Street College of Education.

From 1991 to 2000, Morrow was on the editorial board of Callaloo (journal): A Journal of African American and African Diaspora Arts & Letters. In 1994, he published an essay in the New York Times titled "Gay and Black: A High-Wire Act," which described his early experiences of living in New York City: "It feels like I'm balancing on a thin wire strung across the city. Sometimes I can glide effortlessly...other times the wire trembles."[1] In 1996 he co-edited Shade: An Anthology of Fiction by Gay Men of African Descent (Avon Books), the first anthology of fiction by black gay men to be published by a major publisher.[2] The introduction was written by Samuel R. Delany and the afterward by co-editor Charles H. Rowell. Bruce Morrow donated his research and other papers associated with the writing of “Shade” to the “In The Life Archives” at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which is part of the New York Public Library. The publication of Shade was heralded by Publishers Weekly:

"Upon close inspection, the often-cited "flowering of gay literature" has been mainly an expression of the white middle class. “In the Life” and “Brother to Brother” were antecedents of writings focusing on men of color, but “Shade” is the first anthology devoted to fiction by black gay men. It is difficult to single out the best of the many fine offerings. The most unique perspectives, however, come in Bil Wright's "Your Mother from Cleveland," John Keene's "My Son, My Heart, My Life" and A. Cinque Hicks's "Spice." Like the best in any genre, these challenge the reader's comfort level and assumptions, not only about class, race and sexuality but also about narrative structure. Samuel Delany's introduction and his memoir "Citre et Trans" contextualize the history of writings by black gay men while serving as reminders that Delany is one of the role models who inspired a generation of writers. Hopefully, what the 23 writers represented here have to say will be heard by an audience that's wider than that identified by the subtitle."[3]

Bruce Morrow has published numerous articles, essays, and short stories in anthologies such as “Men on Men 2000,” “Speak My Name: Black Men on Masculinity and the American Dream” (Don Belton, editor), “Go the Way the Blood Beats: An Anthology of Lesbian and Gay Fiction by African-American Writers” (Shawn Stewart Ruff, editor), “Freedom in this Village: Twenty-Five Years of Black Gay Men's Writing” (E. Lynn Harris, editor), “Blithe House Quarterly,” “Ancestral House: The Black Short Story in the Americas and Europe” (Charles H. Rowell, editor), “Imagining America: Stories from the Promised Land: A Multicultural Anthology of American Fiction” (Wesley Brown & Amy Ling, editors), “Mama's Boy: Gay Men Writing about their Mothers” (Dean Kostos & Eugene Grygo, editors), and “Step Into A World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature” (Kevin Powell, editor).

Morrow is a cultural worker committed to supporting African-American, LGBTQ, literary, visual arts, education, and youth development organizations. He has participated in programs and actions with organizations such as ACT-UP NYC, Women's Health Action and Mobilization (WHAM!), Other Countries, and the Rashawn Brazell Fund at the North Star Fund, which provided college scholarships for LGBQT youth. As a curator of readings at Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Bruce Morrow organized numerous events, including major memorial tributes to poet Etheridge Knight and acclaimed poet, activist, and teacher June Jordan. Participants include some of the giants of African American writing and thought including Toni Morrison, Sonia Sanchez, Walter Mosley, and Jayne Cortez.

As Associate Director of Information Gallery in New York City’s East Village from 1992 to 1994, he helped to organize exhibitions for emerging artists whose work expanded the boundaries of abstraction, installation, technology, and conceptual art. In the late 1990s, he also participated in the digital art collective, ScopOphilic, which produced videos from images captured with the Apple Computer, Inc. QuickTake 200, one of the first commercially available digital cameras; the resulting videos were broadcast on Manhattan Neighborhood Network on Time Warner Cable.

“As the grandson of a sharecropper from Mississippi who made the northern migration in the late 1950s to work in a steel mill in Cleveland, Ohio,” says Morrow, “I’m always amazed at life, grateful that I have such an amazing family and group of friends that support me in whatever I do. My mother made sure my brother and I had every opportunity that we wanted. I took piano lessons and went to drawing classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I sang in a choir and my brother and I travelled with our church band, “The African Connection”, playing at historically black colleges in Mississippi and Tennessee. I played steel drums and my brother played congas. My mother, along with my stepfather, made sure our lives were not limited to just watching TV, although I did a lot of that, too.”

Bruce Morrow lives in New York City and is the Interim Associate Dean of the Office of Innovation, Policy & Research at Bank Street College of Education, overseeing several projects, including Bank Street Head Start and Liberty LEADS, a dropout prevention and academic success after-school program. He’s on the advisory boards of Teachers & Writers Collaborative and Girls Write Now, two organizations that are committed to the literary arts and education for children from underserved communities. He enjoys spending his free time with his friends and his son, taking advantage of the many cultural resources in New York City. “Nothing makes me happier than watching and listening to my son’s responses to a play or an art show or a news item,” says Morrow. “He amazes me each and every day.”

Peck was raised in Kansas and attended Drew University in New Jersey, graduating in 1989. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995. He currently teaches creative writing at The New School in New York City. He is openly gay.[3]

Peck's first novel, Martin and John, was published in 1993. His subsequent work, which continued to explore issues of identity and sexuality, were met with more mixed reviews. described Now It's Time to Say Goodbye as a "hyperpotboiler" with a plot "both sensational and preposterous".[4] The New York Review of Books called Martin and John "surprisingly sophisticated", but said Now It's Time to Say Goodbye "collapsed under the weight of its overladen allegorical structures" and diagnosed Peck's fiction as a "seesaw between a strained "'lyricism' ... and cliché".[5]

Peck has also drawn attention as a critic. His reviews for The New Republic, while establishing him as one of the most influential commentators on books, also garnered the opprobrium of the literary establishment for their negative treatment of some of the most highly regarded writers at the time, but also their underlying questioning of what would be the larger project of turn-of-the-century American letters. His most notorious line, "Rick Moody is the worst writer of his generation," set the tone for a collection of essays published under the title Hatchet Jobs.

His critics attacked in turn, with the editors of Brooklyn based n+1 magazine writing:

With the emergence of the ridiculous Dale Peck, the method of Wieseltier's literary salon reached its reductio ad absurdum. Peck smeared the walls with shit, and bankrupted their authority for all time to come. So many forms of extremism turn into their opposite at the terminal stage. Thus The New Republic’s supposed brief for dry, austere, high-literary value—manifesting itself for years in a baffled rage against everything new or confusing—led to Peck’s auto-therapeutic wetness (as self-pity is the refuge of bullies) and hatred of classic modernism (which, to philistines, will always be new and confusing).[6]

Peck's output has been steady and varied; his recent work includes forays into pop culture, film and television criticism, queer theory and children's literature. He is currently a columnist for Out.

In May 2011, Peck's criticism of Jewish-American literature in which he claimed "[I]f I have to read another book about the Holocaust, I’ll kill a Jew myself" prompted a public outcry. His editors later removed the statement from his article.[7]


Children's books
  • What We Lost (2004)
  • Hatchet Jobs (2004)


  1. ^ Morrow, Bruce (1994), Gay and Black: A High-Wire Act, New York Times 
  2. ^ Charles Rowell, eds., Bruce Morrow, (1996), Shade: An Anthology of Fiction by Gay Men of African Descent, Avon Books, ISBN 0-38078305-3 
  3. ^ a b Canning, Richard (2003), Hear Us Out: Conversations with Gay Novelists, Columbia University Press, pp. 327–47, ISBN 0-231-12867-3 
  4. ^ Walker, Rob (May 29, 1998), "now it's time to say GOODBYE",, retrieved 2007-11-30 
  5. ^ Mendelsohn, Daniel (July 15, 2004), "Nailed!", New York Review of Books, 51 (12) 
  6. ^ The Editors. "Designated Haters: On the New Republic." N+1. July 14, 2004. Accessed 2012-09-28.
  7. ^ Franklin, Ruth. " '[I]f I have to read another book about the Holocaust, I’ll kill a Jew myself'." The New Republic. May 19, 2011. Accessed 2012-09-28.
  8. ^ Lopez, Dan. "Dale Peck: Lost and Found." Lambda Literary Review. September 21, 2012. Accessed 2012-09-28.

External links[edit]

Category:1967 births Category:Living people Category:20th-century American novelists Category:21st-century American novelists Category:American male novelists Category:Gay writers Category:LGBT writers from the United States Category:Drew University alumni Category:International House of New York alumni Category:Guggenheim Fellows Category:American literary critics Category:People from Long Island Category:Lambda Literary Award winners Category:Writers from New York (state) Category:LGBT novelists Category:1963 births