Abby E. Murray is the poet laureate (2019-2021) for the city of Tacoma, Washington. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Abby has moved around the country and taught writing in Colorado, Georgia, Alaska, New York and Washington. Her first book, Hail and Farewell, won the 2019 Perugia Press Poetry Prize and will be released this fall. Previous chapbooks include How to Be Married after Iraq (Finishing Line Press, 2018), Quick Draw: Poems from a Soldier’s Wife (Finishing Line Press, 2012) and Me and Coyote (Lost Horse Books, 2010).

Photo by Jenny L. Miller

Photo by Jenny L. Miller

Since 2016, Abby’s been the editor of Collateral, a literary journal publishing work concerned with the impact of violent conflict and military service beyond the combat zone. The journal is published twice a year but runs workshops in Pierce County (Washington) year round for those interested in writing in the wake of war, including veterans, trauma survivors, active duty service members, military families, refugees, and civilians. She considers herself part of a military family, being married to someone in the army. To inquire about workshop dates and plans, please use the Contact page.

Abby teaches creative writing at the School of the Arts, argumentation in military/academic writing at the University of Washington, and poetry workshops at a detention center for detained, undocumented youth. Recent poems can be found in Rattle, Prairie Schooner, New Ohio Review, and the anthology Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump’s America. Her poem “Asking for a Friend” won the Rhino Founder’s Prize in 2018. You can read more of her poems here.

When she’s too anxious to write, she bakes.