Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Altoona, Blair County
Poet and novelist, Eric Morder, has spent most of his life in Central Pennsylvania and teaches at Penn State - Altoona.
Having spent his life in and around Central Pennyslvania, Eric Morder was educated and now teaches in Pennsylvania. Morder attended Juniata College and Millersville University, followed by a short stint at Duquesne. A poet and novelist, Morder has written and self-published fifteen books and more than 100 short stories. Now employed by Penn State as an adjunct instructor of English in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Morder balances his time between teaching and writing. Morder also performs live around Pennsylvania as a solo artist playing guitar and singing original material, mostly poems set to music. He currently resides in Hartslog Valley, Pennsyvlania.
Eric Morder was born at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, in Huntingdon, PA, on April 16, 1973 to James and Anne Morder. He grew up in Stone Creek Ridge in Henderson Township, Huntingdon County. The land was bequeathed to Anne Morder by her parents. He attended Alfarata Elementary School and Huntingdon Area High School.
During high school, Morder took summer work managing a Dairy Queen in Huntingdon in 1988, a job he would hold off and on for two decades. After high school, Morder attended Juniata College in Huntingdon. In 1993, at the age of 20, he started writing poems and short stories while at school after taking a poetry writing class. He graduated with a degree in English in 1996. He wrote his first novel, Childhood and Everything After in 1996 at the age of 23.
After college Morder took a year off to write and work. After being rejected from Penn State for entrance to a Masters degree program in fine arts and poetry, he moved to Lancaster and attended Millersville University. This time at school Morder wanted to study literature to improve his writing. He received his M.A. in English in 1999 from Millersville University. In 2000, Morder moved to Pittsburgh and attended Duquesne but dropped out after receiving only three credits. Morder said he felt less-than-enthused about the curriculum. “I thought they were full of ****,” said Morder.
Next, Morder took residence in Smithfield in Huntingdon County and tried to find work as a school teacher. Lacking a teaching certificate, his prospects were limited and he instead took work as a substitute teacher in 2000 at his alma mater, Huntingdon Area High School. The job only lasted for a week because Morder was fired for giving a cigarette to a student. So, in 2001 he went back to his job managing the Dairy Queen. In 2003, Morder moved to Hartslog Valley, in southern Huntingdon County. Sick of restaurant work, he again looked into a job teaching college courses. He called the English department at The Pennsylvania State University-Altoona campus and in 2008 took on three classes that the campus offered as an adjunct instructor of English. Morder is currently in his third semester at Penn State teaching four classes. “It’s exciting; I’m always interested in what I’m saying,” said Morder.
Morder is a humorist. His writing often chronicles his life through the eyes of a jaded citizen of 21st century America. His poems poke fun at the little things in life, like alcohol, women and his faithful sidekick, Zeusey the Cat. His books of poetry contain hundreds of works a piece and are often light-hearted and enjoyable to read, and at other times offer a thorough critique of what he calls “the underbelly of life” and the “hoity-toity” and “hypocritical” institutions of higher learning.
“I am eternally impressed with Eric’s energy,” said Associate Professor of English and novelist Steven Sherrill, a colleague of Morders’ at Penn State’s Altoona campus. “I know some of his influences are Bukowski and stream-of-consciousness writers and I can see that in his writing. For me as a teacher and as a writer, I often value the kind of charge up the mountain over victory, the ambition and the willingness to take on big subjects. ”
Morder also maintains a website featuring poetry and blogs: ericmorder.com.
Blameless and Uncensored Half Truth. Self Published. 2005.
Hangman Calling. Self Published. 2007.
Just Pretend I’m Handsome. Self Published. 2007.
Laughing at Lions. Self Published. 2006.
Almost Legal Poems. Self Published. 2008.
Days of Lightning and Wine. Self Published. 2008.
Childhood and Everything After, a novel. Self Published, 2009.
Standing Room Only, a novel. Self Published, 2009.
The Dark Side of the Moon Café. Self Published. 2009
What Things Look Like When You’re Dead. Self Published. 2009.