Professor, poet finds the humor in serious poetry

Published Nov. 11, 2009

Jeff Morgan, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.Jeff Morgan, associate professor of English at Lynn University, has been busy as of late. Morgan, now in his 10th year at Lynn, presented "Why Are We Laughing? Multicultural Representations in the Poetry of Tony Hoagland" at the 33rd Annual Colloquium on Literature and Film, Oct. 8-10, at West Virginia University in Morgantown. Just days later, he joined colleague Lizbeth Keiley at the Florida College English Association (FCEA) Conference where he read his paper, "Three Ways of Looking at Campbell McGrath's Ode to Bureaucrats." And one week after that he presented his paper, "Billy Collins and War: A Comic Analysis," at the 23rd Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists in New York City.

Explaining his current focus on humor in poetry Morgan admitted he wanted to highlight the power and artistry present in some comic poetry – poetry written by some of the greatest writers of our time.

“Comedy always gets the shaft,” Morgan said, noting that even in other mediums – like film – comedy often isn’t taken seriously. “It’s rare you see the top film nod go to a comedy, isn’t it?” he said.

Source:  Morgan joined the Lynn faculty in 1999 and became interim chair of the English Department in fall 2000 and full time chair the next academic year. Morgan has served on the American Studies and Appeals committees (both currently); created a poetry coffeehouse on campus; revived the annual literary and arts journal, “Quest;” pioneered the Liberal Arts Student Symposium; moderated several interdisciplinary panels; edited the college newsletter; coached the Debate Team; organized the Distinguished Author Lecture Series; and brought the inaugural Palm Beach Poetry Festival to Lynn’s campus.

Off campus, Morgan has judged poetry contests for the festival and for The Poets of the Palm Beaches. He has served on two Student Advisory Councils within the Palm Beach County School District and is currently a member of the Communication Arts Parents Association at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, as well as the Boynton Beach Historical Society, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, and the Florida College English Association, for whom he has served as poetry editor for their publication, “Florida English,” since its inception. Additionally, he is an associate editor of the “International Journal for Interdisciplinary Social Sciences.”

He earned his bachelor of arts from Ohio University, a master of arts at Pan American University, and he received his doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University.