Morris, Holly 1965–
Morris, Holly 1965–
PERSONAL: Born 1965.
ADDRESSES: Office—Adventure Divas, 1122 E. Pike, Ste. 1347, Seattle, WA 98122. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Seal Press, Seattle, WA, former editorial director; Adventure Divas, Inc., Seattle, cofounder; executive producer, director, and host of Adventure Divas (television series), PBS. Correspondent for television series, including Outdoor Investigations, OLN; Treks in a Wild World, Discovery/Travel Channel; Globe Trekker, for Public Broadcasting Service; and Lonely Planet Treks in America. Former editorial director for Seal Press.
AWARDS, HONORS: Emmy Award.
(Editor) Uncommon Waters: Women Write about Fishing, preface by Margot Page, illustrations by Sandy Scott, Seal Press (Seattle, WA), 1991.
(Editor) A Different Angle: Fly-Fishing Stories by Women, Seal Press (Seattle, WA), 1995.
Adventure Divas: A Global Search for a New Kind of Heroine, Villard (New York, NY), 2005.
Also writer for television series Adventure Divas, Public Broadcasting Service. Contributor to periodicals, including New York Times Book Review, Ms., Blue, and Outside.
SIDELIGHTS: An author, adventurer, television broadcaster, and entrepreneur, Holly Morris is the founder of Adventure Divas, Inc., a television production company that produces the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) documentary series Adventure Divas. Morris serves many roles in the production of the series, including writer, executive producer, director, and host. More often, though, she serves as chief adventurer, seeking out the exotic, the unusual, and the profound in areas around the globe.
Morris's first television program for Adventure Divas featured a look at female creative artists—a group of rappers, a poet, and a filmmaker—working within the repressive confines of Cuba. This initial effort impressed PBS executives enough to take a chance on the show, which enjoyed a successful run. In her book based on the show, Adventure Divas: A Global Search for a New Kind of Heroine, Morris describes the origins of her production company and offers brutally honest accounts of creating the segments and directing the shoots. She also tells how, while she moonlighted as a correspondent for other television adventure shows, she climbed the imposing Matterhorn, dined with Malaysian headhunters, and braved the Sahara Desert, all in order to pay the bills for her fledgling production company. In an interview on the Young Pioneers Web site, Morris remarked that making her company a reality "wasn't a fast process, and I've found that actually being able to articulate for yourself what your dream is, is harder sometimes than achieving it."
In Adventure Divas Morris also describes the origin and evolution of Adventure Divas: how she and her mother—also a broadcaster—founded a company intent on producing powerful television that seeks out women in all parts of the world who have applied determination, vision, and pure willpower to making positive change in their lives and in the world at large. The book "chronicles her journey from desk-bound editorial director of the publishing company Seal Press, to global explorer who seeks out individuals who embody the adventure-as-philosophy ethos, and make change in the world around them," noted a biographer on the Adventure Divas Web site.
Morris's subjects have demonstrated a deep passion for their chosen work. Their methods often defy the social norms of their native countries, but their singular determination is more the result of wanting to make powerful changes rather than simply rejecting convention. Morris has interviewed and profiled a female beat cop in India whose contributions to her society include reforming the country's notoriously brutal prison system; a maverick publisher in Iran who struggles against stifling censorship laws; a Black Panther exile who lives in Cuba; a blind Iranian folk singer who dispenses with her veil and instead wears a hat; and a New Zealand pop star who challenged the rifts between cultures in her native country. Morris's profiles and interviews "are thoughtful and probing, revealing the differences between their lives and those of American women," commented Michele Leber in Booklist. As a Publishers Weekly contributor commented, "Morris's writing is clean, rhythmic and full of both storytelling flair and journalistic pragmatism."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2005, Michele Leber, review of Adventure Divas: A Global Search for a New Kind of Heroine, p. 26.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2005, review of Adventure Divas, p. 901.
Publishers Weekly, August 22, 2005, review of Adventure Divas, p. 56.
Adventure Divas Web site, http://www.adventuredivas.com/ (November 28, 2005).
Rolf Potts' Vagabonding Web site, http://www.rolfpotts.com/ (November 28, 2005), interview with Holly Morris.
Young Pioneers Web site, http://www.youngpioneers.com/ (November 28, 2005), "Here Come the Adventure Divas," profile of Holly Morris.