Archive for January, 2008

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Review: The Domimion

January 29, 2008

My pal and colleague Amanda Jernigan pointed out this review at the grassroots indie journalism site The Dominion by email, under the subject heading “Dept. of brightening one’s day” — and it surely does. The reviews have been almost uniformly positive to this point, which pleases me more than I thought it would!

The Rush to Here
George Murray
Nightwood Editions, 2007

This new collection of poems from George Murray contains something truly new; he has written a series of sonnets using an entirely novel kind of rhyme. It sounds unlikely, but the results more than justify the flouting of convention. The rhymes are sometimes based on sound (as in homophones), but more often centered around meaning – synonyms, antonyms, association, etc. To illustrate from a randomly chosen sonnet, “Lullaby”: Murray rhymes ‘utmost’ with ‘paramount,’ ‘receive’ with ‘tuned’ (think radios), ‘signal’ with ‘pulse,’ ‘light’ with ‘dawn,’ ‘time’ with ‘ancestor,’ ‘does’ with ‘execute,’ and ‘rage’ with ‘blaze.’ While some writers might be tempted to let the innovation carry the collection, hoping for an audience enamoured of formal poetry, Murray takes the time to craft each poem into something thought-provoking and beautiful, so that a reader unfamiliar with sonnets might still be enthralled. In terms of subject matter, Murray covers a lot of ground – from reflections on parenthood to the implications of quantum physics, from the sex lives of the Devil and the Greek gods to the annoyance of home renovations. The Rush to Here is worth rushing out for.

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Events: Princeton University

January 29, 2008

I’ll be reading twice at Princeton in March, as both a guest of the Canadian Studies Department and Trinity Church. I’ll update the details below as they become available. The first reading will have local poets attached, and I’m excited to see who they might be. If you’re in the area and can make it, please stop by.

Monday, March 3, 7:30
Trinity Church, Princeton
with James Richardson
(public reading)

Tuesday, March 4, 4:30pm
209 Scheide Caldwell House, Princeton
(students and faculty only)

I’ll take an extra day ahead to visit some friends in my old NYC stomping grounds.

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Alhambra Poetry Calendar

January 26, 2008

I have a few good events and publications coming up, but the neatest of all has to be the Alhambra Poetry Calendar.  More than a year ago, when I received an invitation from overseas to participate in this project, I had no idea if would be chockablock full of great poets and become a lovely desk companion. I’ve never used a daily calendar like this, but it’s fun to turn the pages every day—perhaps I’ll stick with it. (I hear it’s bad luck, but I peeked ahead and found myself on January 29 with the title poem from my new book.)