Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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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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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.”

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Reading: SPARKS

January 29, 2016

I’ll be reading this Sunday at SPARKS Literary Festival at Memorial University. Lots of great authors, but I’m in the last slot of the day with Sharon Bala, Robert Chafe and Heather O’Neill. Book signings, etc. Come see!

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Review: Atlantic Books Today

January 21, 2016

Diversion gets a nice little review from Joan Sullivan in Atlantic Books Today. There’s no link online, so here’s a photo of it.  It’s available for sale at most bookstores, or online. Try McNally Robinson or Type Books if you want to support independent bookstores. Or even Chapters and Amazon if you don’t.

abt review

 

 

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Article: Quill and Quire

December 19, 2015

Here’s a personal essay I wrote for the Quill and Quire, Canada’s book trade magazine, on the state of distraction. Or at least my state of distraction. And how this has led to my strange book, Diversion.

“I feared I was drying up. I feared I was getting old. I feared I was fading away instead of fulfilling my original plan, which was to burn out. I used to have ideas while waiting in lines at grocery stores, or while sitting in a bar, or walking down the street. Now all that time was filled with other distractions: pings from texts, Twitter alerts, 24-hour news crawls, cat videos on Facebook, ads talking to me at bus stops, five to 10 TVs per bar, all tuned to different channels, phone calls interrupting other phone calls, Candy Crush levels to be beaten, emails delivered directly to a watch on the wrist. That cavernous chamber in the brain was now filled all the time. I wasn’t writing because I was distracted.”