Morgan Talty

Morgan Talty

Photo courtesy of Morgan Talty


Morgan Talty is a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation where he grew up. He received his BA in Native American studies from Dartmouth College and his MFA in fiction from Stonecoast’s low-residency program. His story collection Night of the Living Rez is forthcoming from Tin House Books (July, 2022) and his work has appeared in the Georgia Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, Narrative Magazine, LitHub, and elsewhere. A winner of the 2021 Narrative Prize and a recipient of a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, Talty teaches courses in both English and Native American studies, and he is on the faculty at the Stonecoast MFA in creative writing. He lives in Levant, Maine.

It’s hard to truly express how important a National Endowment for the Arts grant is to me. I am at the beginning of my writing career, with my first book, Night of the Living Rez, coming out this July 2022 from Tin House Books, and having received this grant enables me to keep at the hard work of writing, especially on my current project, a novel titled The Year of the Frog Clan. In it, I examine a family and the consequences of a disturbing history of state-child welfare practices on Native people in Maine, particularly my tribe, the Penobscot. This topic is important to me for so many reasons, one of which is that I believe these stories of injustice, these terrible histories, need to be brought to light in order to create a space where healing can occur, a point evident in the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was so successful.

The NEA grant has encouraged me to keep at this project, to really get lost in the creative process and to dive deep into the research required. The grant, too, is also a confidence booster: being awarded anything for your work lifts the spirit, especially when that work and those who back it are basically saying, “Keep doing what you’re doing.” I’m thrilled to receive this grant and to join a long list of previous recipients as well as to be part of this year’s cohort which is full of so much talent.