Join me for a short reading, Q&A, and refreshments to celebrate the launch of Hail and Farewell, Perugia Press Poetry Prize winner!
Of the book, Ellen Bass writes: “‘… only girls / had the grit to transform themselves,’ Abby E. Murray writes in Hail and Farewell, her fine first collection of poems. Murray has grit to spare, examining in intimate, often devastating detail what it means to be a pacifist married to a soldier. Both insider and outsider, the speaker in these poems interrogates military culture, war, and violence with insight and compassion. “Bones,” written at the bedside of a wounded soldier, describes ‘shrapnel / spiraling up the leg…like / morning glories curling round a fencepost.’ Murray deftly weaves the personal and the political, as in “How Can I Tell You This?”: ‘Mornings come with news: / red flowers have opened / beneath a man’s white t-shirt / and I want to tell my daughter / the burning petals aren’t hers or mine, / but how can I?’ For those of us who have the luxury of not thinking about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hail and Farewell is necessary reading, reminding us what sacrifice looks like.”