David J. Morris, a 2008 graduate of UC Irvine’s M.F.A. fiction writing program, has been awarded the prestigious Staige D. Blackford Prize. Established in 2003, the award honors the top work to appear in the Virginia Quarterly Review in the past year. Morris, a former Marine, spent a handful of summers in Iraq before writing his thesis, titled “My Baby.” Past recipients of the Staige D. Blackford Prize include Philip Caputo, Pauline W. Chen and Roger Wilkins.