Maurice Manning is a Kentucky poet and Associate Director of Creative Writing at Indiana University. He received his B.A. in English from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, his M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky, and then his M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Alabama. As well as being Associate Director at I.U., Manning teaching in the M.F.A. program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and regularly teaches in the Appalachia Writers Workshop at the Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky.
Manning is a Danville, Kentucky native, a descendent of the first generation of pioneers to settle Kentucky. His complex heritage, Kentucky family history, and grandmothers, who were natural storytellers, stimulated his early interest in rhythms and the sounds of language, and have guided his development as a poet.
Manning has published three books of poetry. His first, Lawrence Booth's Book of Visions, was published in 2001 by the Yale University Press. Booth's Book of Visions includes 58 poems featuring Lawrence Booth, a fictional character described by Publishers Weekly as "equal parts carnivorous nightmare, Freudian pastoral, and deep-fired family romance." Presenting a cast of allegorical and symbolic, yet very real, characters. His second collection of poetry, A Companion for Owls: Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone, Long Hunter, Back Woodsman, &c, was published in 2004 by Harcourt. It is a collection of highly original narrative poems, written in the voice of frontiersman Daniel Boone, that capture all the beauty and struggle of nascent America. His third book of poetry, Bucolic, was published by Harcourt in 2007. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, Washington Square, Green Mountains Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Wind, Hunger Mountains, Black Warrior Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.
Manning has held a writing fellowship to The Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown, as well as at The Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers in Scotland. In 2000, his first book, Lawrence Booth's Book of Visions, was selected by W.S. Merwin for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. In 2009 Manning received the Hanes Poetry Prize from The Fellowship of Southern Writers. His most recent book, The Common Man, was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize.