Christopher Merrill  has published six collections of poetry, including Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; many works of translation and edited volumes; and five books of nonfiction, among them, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, and The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War.

His work has been translated into twenty-five languages, his honors include a knighthood in arts and letters from the French government, and his journalism appears in many publications. He directs the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa.