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How a Poem Moves

May 15, 2017

Poet and professor Adam Sol’s How a Poem Moves project is looking at Diversion this week. It’s a very good close reading that really gets the book.

 Since I started working on this blog I’ve known that I wanted to write about George Murray’s Diversion, but I’ve had a problem because most of the poems are well over 30 lines long. For the sake of keeping my essays readably short, I’ve tended to stick with shorter pieces. And so finally I asked George’s permission to use just a section from one of the poems – you won’t get the full picture here, but I hope you can get a sense of how the poems move, and that it will encourage you to dive more deeply into this funny, inventive, often disturbing collection.

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Events: International Aphorisms Conference

March 1, 2017

“Hot on the heels” of my first book of aphorisms (2010’s Glimpse), my second book of aphorisms, Quick, should be back from the printer soon, and some events around its launch are started to get nailed down. The first will be on April 1 in Hartford, CT, where I’ll be speaking at the first international conference on the aphorism along with James Geary, Sharon Dolin, and Alfred Corn. After that, I’ll be in NYC to speak to some groups of young folk and then off to Toronto where ECW will launch the book at 7pm on April 6 at the Dora Keough. More information on the April 1 conference below.

APHORISMS: A ONE-DAY CONFERENCE & WORKSHOP ON SHORT WRITINGS  

Saturday April 1, 2017, 10am to 4:30pm

Hartford History Center
Hartford Public Library
500 Main Street, Hartford CT

Opening talk—JAMES GEARY

Celebrate the art of the aphorism with James Geary: His presentation will explore the witty power of aphorisms in literature and daily life through the lively juggling of words & ideas. Geary is the foremost contemporary authority on the aphorism.

Presentations by three contemporary aphorists—

 Alfred Corn: Concision, Concentration, Poetry 

Sharon Dolin: Sequencing the Whole Fragment

George Murray: The Aphorist as Undertaker

Aphorism Workshop

Starting at 1:45 pm, James Geary will lead an interactive workshop on how to write aphorisms.

Group Reading

3:30 pm, conference participants will have the opportunity to read their original aphorisms. Followed by a Q&A with the contemporary aphorists.

Conference is Free. RSVP by March 25 to — Jim Finnegan (jforjames@aol.com)

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Publication: Contemporary Verse 2

October 18, 2016

I have an interview and new poems in CV2 this month, as well as a photo on the cover. The caption on the cover reads “Poetry, Politics, & Poor Choices.” Egad, what did I say to them? Will have to read it to remember.

39-2-cover-web-200-1

 

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Publication: The Puritan

September 8, 2016

I have a new poem at The Puritan in an issues guest edited by Sonnet L’Abbe and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer. Classy joint, The Puritan. Hopefully I don’t bring down the property values.

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Review: Harper’s

September 8, 2016

There’s a neat review in Harper’s of the anthology of aphorisms, Short Flights, in which I appear alongside some of the best working aphorists out there. A small quote from the introduction to my selection is included:

A fair number of aphorisms seek to justify or explain the form itself. Nietzsche: “It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what everyone else says in a whole book — what everyone else does not say in a whole book.” George Murray: “I describe them as poems without all the poetry getting in the way. But, for all I know, philosophers might describe them as thoughts without all the philosophy getting in the way.”

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News: Quick

August 8, 2016

Coming next spring from ECW Press: QUICK, new aphorisms. The image here shows the title in a different colour from the background, but only for online image purposes. On the printed book the title will be the same colour as the cover background and will be embossed instead. So on first glance, you’ll see only “APHORISMS   GEORGE MURRAY” and then picking it up will reveal the title. Neat!

Quick cover high res RGB

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Review: PRISM International

April 26, 2016

There’s another nice review of Diversion in PRISM magazine out of BC. Order a copy here.

“Diversion positions itself in conversation with the work of poets such as Rachel Zolf, Kathryn Mockler and Sam Riviere who have been utilizing technological filters and search engines to organize and experiment with the vast array of information we have access to in the contemporary world. By contrast, Murray asks what happens to a text when filters used to organize or arrange information are removed. Mimicking the constant stream of divergent data we are presented with everyday on our cellphones, computers, and televisions, he leaves the conceit of filtering up to the reader.”