October 3, 2005

The Hunter
(McClelland & Stewart, 2003)

from The Globe and Mail

“A spooky portrait … with a compelling tone and constellation of imagery – less a moral tale of Armageddon and more its soundtrack. Murray takes great risks with statement and image. …the collection is quite powerful, inventing an original way of seeing a world which seems to enjoy using its own tools against itself. The Hunter remakes the world with a frightening and evocative music.”

from The Toronto Star

“There’s … a life-and-death urgency here, but at a remove, as if Murray wanted to widen his scope from the close-up view of an individual to a panoramic perspective on humanity and the sweep of history. The Hunter is an ambitious, visionary collection with many haunting images. It’s chilling indeed…”

from The Quill and Quire

“Like Milton in Paradise Lost and many poets of the Western canon, Murray’s moralistic poems yearn for a golden age where man was part of the natural world… Beauty is what makes The Hunter such a compelling read. At this watershed moment in history, we are all looking for the beauty that lies somewhere between the ugliness of history and the ominous tone of prophesy.”

from Books in Canada

“For style, I think of John Ashbery’s prolix juxtapositions of estranging details, though I like Murray’s poems better (more definition, more purposeful clout, more definition between the poems). Murray has [Mark] Strand’s surreal clairvoyance, his cheeky wit. Murray works his magic by accumulation… by analogy with musical forms, whose effects are cumulative. Murray’s corrective influence invokes a hurried urgency, a nutty scrambling for an imaginative response that will jolt us awake, blow the lid off our complacency.”

from The Ottawa Citizen

“[The Hunter] draws a new language from the chaos and uncertainty of our time. … Imbued with an eerie, prophetic spirit. [It’s] as if Murray sensed the coming storm.”

from MobyLives.com

“… experience haunts these pages, but so, too, does a sense of continuance, of a relentless quest for grace, in poems that combine an admirable grittiness with enviable elegance.”

The Cottage Builder’s Letter
(McClelland & Stewart, 2001)

from The National Post

“He has the poet’s instincts, the knack for turning a good phrase and the verbal grit and suppleness to keep the reader engaged. …an important talent.”

from CBC Newsworld’s (TV) On the Arts

“… haunting poems about people set off in some way against their environment… I really think that he has talent and he’ll do more.”

from Books in Canada

“There is a fine balance in Murray that makes his poems deeply persuasive. There is an atmosphere wherein past and present, the before and after of events, mingle to create the timeless history of a place.”

from The Globe and Mail

“These poems are well-crafted and observant…”

Carousel: A Book of Second Thoughts
(Exile Editions, 2000)

from The Globe and Mail

“Framed by a central metaphor (and often suitable for framing), the poems work Calvino-like variations on the theme of mortality. [Murray] demonstrates that a firm controlling metaphor in a poem need not obviate the free play of imagination. … This is a highly impressive first book.”

from Eye Weekly

“…unusually sharp line-to-line – with image rhyme, pun, ironic wordplay and a comedian’s sense of timing …borderline brilliant.”

from The Danforth Review

“…a wide range of tones and perspectives: poignant, comic, tragic, sardonic, and erotic. …one can only say that Murray has triumphed in his metaphor.”


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