Amorak was born in Kalamazoo, Mich., and grew up in a small town outside Birmingham, Ala. After nearly 15 years as a reporter and editor, he left the newspaper business in 2008. He is now an assistant professor of writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.
Amorak holds a B.A. in English from Birmingham-Southern College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Western Michigan University. He is author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress Publications, 2015) and two poetry chapbooks: The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2014), and A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly Press, 2016).
He is co-author, with W. Todd Kaneko, of the textbook Poetry: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, forthcoming from Bloomsbury Academic in 2018.
His poems appear in anthologies such as The Best American Poetry 2012; The Poetry of Sex; Poetry in Michigan, Michigan in Poetry; and Poet’s Market 2014, as well as numerous print and online journals such as The Southern Review, The Cincinnati Review, The Collagist, Menacing Hedge, Oxford American, Poet Lore, Crab Orchard Review, and others. He received a 2017 Fellowship in Creative Writing from the National Endowment for the Arts.
During his newspaper career, Amorak worked in a variety of editing and reporting roles for the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat; the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky.; The News-Enterprise of Hardin County, Ky.; the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader; and The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press, where he was assistant sports editor.