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Long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Crawford Award. Title short story listed for the 2000 O. Henry award.

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Joan Murray

Anyone with even a vague interest in poetry needs to check out this fascimile PDF of Joan Murray’s Poems (1947, Yale University Press):

Poem into Sleep

In the night we peopled evil forests,
Running naked with our hands against our mouths,
Leaping from the channels to the brief hill-crests,
Frantic at the panting bogs and the cypress wreaths.

Now in this sleep we river-run,
Eye to eye, mouth to mouth unspoken;
For rock is flesh and the oval sun
Eye to eye, mouth to mouth unspoken.

Walls of early smoke the leaves,
Each in an autumn’s roisterous trail.
Even the dream a pulse of sheaves
Out of the hoar-mist tangled and frail.

Scale of the lifting eye on-set;
Oh, and a sigh and the pass of years.
The red-bent sea-spliced season met
Only to flay our primordial fears.

Fri, January 20 2006 » Poetry

3 Responses

  1. Richard A Poaps June 2 2006 @ 10:25 pm

    Joan Murray was my cousin and i continue to search for any information relating to her writing, her education in London and NY city and other. Her mother was Florence Margaret Poaps the youngest of five children of Jacob Vincent Poaps, born in Osnabruck On about 1890, and who at one time performed on the stage in NY city as a “diseuse”. Her father was an illustrator for the Tatler in London and several books and publications. Florence was known to us as Aunt Bunn and on stage as Peggy Murray. She is said to have kicked her husband, Stanley Murray out at some time, because of his philandering. She was NOT POPULAR in our family. I continue to search for factual info and have very little except the book and a few other items.
    Richard A Poaps

  2. Richard A Poaps July 19 2006 @ 11:02 pm

    I understand that there is a small number of admirers of Joan’s work and I think she would be very pleased to know that there is a modest movement to re-establish her work. While I am not a great fan of this type of poetry, I applaud the arts and those that have a sincere interest and I continue to look for threads of her presence, as well as her parents. Thank you.
    Richard Poaps

  3. Jean Cary January 4 2008 @ 6:46 pm

    I am Peggy Murray’s grandniece and Joan’s second cousin (my mother was a first cousin). We heard a lot about Joanie as we were growing up.

    Please email me. I am doing a family history and would very much like to communicate with you.

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