Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ted Morrissey  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Galesburg, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Ted Morrissey on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

I was born and raised in Galesburg, Illinois, graduating from Galesburg High School in 1980. I worked for a number of years for the Galesburg Register-Mail newspaper. I earned a BS in English education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (1984), an MA in English from SIUC (1995), and a Ph. D. in English studies from Illinois State University (2009). I have taught English in various academic settings throughout Illinois, including United Township High School in East Moline (1984-1987); Mt. Vernon Township High School (1987-1998); and Williamsville High School (1998-present). I've been an adjunct instructor in English at Benedictine University Springfield (formerly Springfield College in Illinois) since 1999, and an adjunct lecturer in English at University of Illinois Springfield since 2010. I've lived just north of Springfield, in Sherman, Illinois, since 1998.

Biographical and Professional Information

I am the author of the novel ''Men of Winter'', originally published in 2010 and re-released by Twelve Winters Press in a revised and expanded edition in 2013, the novelette ''Figures in Blue'', released in print from Twelve Winters and digitally from Battered Suitcase Press in 2013, and the novel An ''Untimely Frost'' (Twelve Winters, 2014). My short fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including ''Glimmer Train'', ''Paris Transcontinental'', ''The Chariton Review'', ''PANK'', and ''Pisgah Review''. A Ph.D. in English studies from Illinois State University, I’ve also published the monograph ''The Beowulf Poet'' and ''His Real Monsters'' (Mellen, 2013). I’ve had essays on writing and related topics appear in ''Writers Ask'', the ''North American Review'', and ''Slush Pile Magazine''. I teach English in a variety of academic settings, including University of Illinois Springfield.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Men of Winter
ISBN: 0982956886

Punkin House. 2010

Hektr Pastrovich, journalist and aspiring poet, is traveling by train to the frontline of his country's long-standing war when he meets a beautiful woman who's so shrouded in mystery she won't even tell Hektr her name. He decides to call her "Helena" after a childhood friend, not suspecting that she would eventually ask for Hektr's assistance in making her way to the front. Hektr's motivations for reaching the front are two-fold: He has been given the task by his editor of writing firsthand accounts of the fighting (no one trusts that the government's reports are accurate), and he hopes to gather more lurid details for some sensational stories to be published by his editor's chief rival. In particular, Hektr hopes to find out more information regarding a vagabond he'd met who referred to himself as the "Prince of Ithaka." After a time, Hektr begins to wonder if Helena is also searching for the Prince of Ithaka.

Men of Winter
ISBN: 0989515109

Twelve Winters Press. 2013

Hektr Pastrovich, a journalist and poet, travels to the front of a war his country has been fighting for nine years in search of an enigmatic traveler who calls himself the Prince of Ithaka. Along the way he meets Helena, a beautiful and captivating woman who becomes a mystery to Hektr as well. Men of Winter is a revisionist work drawing from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, set in early twentieth-Century Russia. It features a Preface by the author, in addition to an Interview, Afterword and Discussion Questions that make it ideal for book clubs and classroom study.

The Beowulf Poet and His Real Monsters: A Trauma-Theory Reading of the Anglo-Saxon Poem
ISBN: 0773444645

Edwin Mellen Pr. 2013

This book opens a new line of inquiry into the Old English poem, specifically trauma theory, which attempts to map the psychological typography of an author and his or her culture, that is, when the text appears to be wrought of traumatic experience. Indicators of a "trauma text" are narrative techniques often associated with postmodernism -- expressly, intertextuality, repetition, a dispersed or fragmented voice, and a search for powerful language. The anonymous Beowulf poet made extensive use of all four narrative techniques, suggesting he and his culture were suffering from traumatic stress. The author brings together knowledge from myriad disciplines -- among them history, anthropology, sociology, biology, and psychology, with special emphases on the branches of psychoanalysis and neuropsychology -- and focuses his trauma-theory reading on the poem's original language.

Figures in Blue
ISBN: 0989515133

Twelve Winters Press. 2013

Figures in Blue is the story of Esteban Espiritu, a young Spanish artist who is commissioned to paint the portrait of Kristena von Lichtenberg, an elderly Baroness living in a deteriorating mansion that overlooks a provincial German village. However, Esteban uncovers a local mystery regarding the disappearance of her brutish husband, the Baron. The novelette is set in the beginning of the twentieth century and references classical mythology.

An Untimely Frost
ISBN: 0989515117

Twelve Winters Press. 2014

In the novel An Untimely Frost, or The Authoress, set in 1830s London, American author Jefferson Wheelwright seeks out the reclusive English novelist Margaret T. Haeley, creator of Dunkelraum's monster and widow of the poet Stephen Haeley. The story is inspired by Washington Irving's rumored courtship of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. The book also includes the author's essay "Researching the Rhythms of Voice" and discussion questions.

Weeping with an Ancient God
ISBN: 0989515168

Twelve Winters Press. 2014

"Weeping with an Ancient God" is a novella set in the Marquesas Islands in the summer of 1842. The protagonist, Melvill, has jumped ship from the whaler Acushnet into a wild, savage and exotically beautiful land. Melvill contemplates his dangerous present, his sad past and his wholly uncertain future on an island teeming with cannibals.The novella is based on author Herman Melville's real-life adventures as a young seaman. It includes nine illustrations by Adam G. Perschbacher, and a conversation with the author by Beth Gilstrap.

Crowsong for the Stricken
ISBN: 0998705721

Twelve Winters Press. 2017

Crowsong for the Stricken is a prismatic novel consisting of twelve pieces orbiting the uncanny events in an isolated Midwestern village. Are the events the work of the divine or the demonic? Is there a more human explanation? The answer may depend on the order in which one encounters the various pieces. Among them is the award-winning title story, which was published in an illustrated edition by Flyleaf Journal. Central to the book is the crowlike figure of Plague, who haunts the villagers, especially the children. More than anything, though, it is a village of secrets--secrets that people keep from each other . . . and secrets they keep from themselves. The novel is a prime example of the burgeoning literary style known as Midwestern Gothic. Pieces from the novel have appeared in numerous journals, including Southern Humanities Review, theTulane Review, ink&coda, and Constellations, as well as the anthology Literature Today.


D. Simon Evans Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in 2013 (Edwin Mellen)

Speaking Engagements

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