Christopher Merrill is the director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. A poet, essayist, journalist, and translator, Mr. Merrill has published six collections of poetry, including Brilliant Water and Watch Fire, for which he received the 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 six 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, The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War, and Self-Portrait with Dogwood. Prior to joining the University of Iowa, he held the William H. Jenks Chair in Contemporary Letters at the College of Holy Cross. In 2008, he led the initiative that resulted in the selection of Iowa City as a UNESCO City of Literature, a part of the Creative Cities Network. Mr. Merrill received a BA from Middlebury College and an MA from the University of Washington.