New Books Network

Donald Morrill

Impetuous Sleeper

Mid-List Press 2009

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in LiteratureNew Books Network January 8, 2020 Eric LeMay

Usually on the New Books Network we do exactly what our name says: we talk about new books. Today, however, we’re doing something a...

Usually on the New Books Network we do exactly what our name says: we talk about new books. Today, however, we’re doing something a little different. I’m interviewing Donald Morrill about his very not-new book of essays Impetuous Sleeper (Mid-List Press, 2009). It was published a decade ago. However, it offers us an interesting opportunity to talk about a part of publishing world that we often don’t talk about: what happens when your publisher closes and your book goes out of print? How does that alter your perception of a book, of its purpose and its potential audience? And yet Morrill’s essays offer us so much more than a look at the publishing lifespan of a book. He’s crafted beautiful work that reimagines what the essay can do and be. His is a collection of startling insights and careful observations that gather to a lyrical abundance. It’s a generous gift of a book, one that masterfully demonstrates an essay needn’t be new to be apt, to be beautiful, to be, in the largest sense, newsworthy.


Eric LeMay is on the creative writing faculty at Ohio University. His work ranges from food writing to electronic literature. He is the author of three books, most recently In Praise of Nothing: Essay, Memoir, and Experiments (Emergency Press, 2014). He can be reached at eric@ericlemay.org.