Bio / About Chris Murray

 

 

Chris Murray is a poet, web developer, and a graduate of Art History and English Literature at UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy. She qualified and has worked as a conservation stone cutter with the Office of Public Works/Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland. Her restoration stonework is largely architectural. She worked in Counties Limerick and Kerry and was based at Ross Castle at Loch Lein (Killarney, Co. Kerry) and in Ardfert Cathedral among other places. She is primarily a page poet but has written poetry for vocal performance. Her ‘Lament for Three Women’s Voices‘ was performed at The Béal Festival of New Music and Poetry  (Smock Alley Theatre, 2012). Her most recent book publications are, A Hierarchy of Halls” (Smithereens Press) & “bind” (Turas Press) both 2018.

Chris is currently curating papers and journal articles related to Fired! Irish Women Poets and the Canon at RASCAL (Research and Special Collections Available Locally- QUB). Journal articles, online resources, and documentation related to the institution of Fired! are now available via this link.

Books

Eavan Boland: Inside History

A small collection of interrelated poems in series and sequence Cycles was published by Lapwing Press (2013). A book-length poem The Blind was published by Oneiros Books (2013). Her second book-length poem She published by Oneiros Books (2014).  And Agamemnon Dead; an alternative collection of Irish poetry. edited by Peter O’Neill and Walter Ruhlmann (2015). “A Modern Encounter with ‘Foebus abierat’: On Eavan Boland’s “Phoebus Was Gone, all Gone, His Journey Over”  in Eavan Boland: Inside History, published by Arlen House and edited by Nessa O’Mahony and Siobhán Campbell (2016). All The Worlds Between, Anthology, eds Srilata Krishnan and Fióna Bolger (Yoda Publishing, 2017), The Gladstone Readings, Anthology, Ed. Peter O’Neill (Famous Seamus Publishing, 2017). bind was published in October 2018.

 

 Chapbooks 

Her chapbook Three Red Things was published by Smithereens Press (2013). A chapbook Signature published by Bone Orchard Press (2014). A Hierarchy of Halls was published by Smithereens Press in 2018.

 

Anthologies

Her poetry has been collected in  And Agamemnon Dead; an alternative collection of Irish poetry.  edited by Peter O’Neill and Walter Ruhlmann (2015). Tiny Moments; An Anthology  (2016) Edited by David Pring-Mill. Blackjack; A Contemporary Volume of Irish Poetry (2016) published by Singur Publishing, Romania. A Transitory House; a suite of poems (2016) first performed at Ó Bheal (Co. Cork, Ireland) and based on Freda Laughton’s Now I am a Tower of Darkness  published by Limerick Writer’s Centre  in 1916 – 2016: An Anthology of Reactions (Edited by John Liddy & Dominic Taylor)  All The Worlds Between, Anthology, eds Srilata Krishnan and Fióna Bolger (Yoda Publishing, 2017), The Gladstone Readings Anthology, Ed. Peter O’Neill (Famous Seamus Publishing, 2017)

 

Journal Publications

Her individual, series and small group poems have been published in The Southword Literary Journal, Crannóg Magazine, Skylight 47, Bone Orchard Poetry, The Burning Bush II, Poetry Bus Magazine, Post II (Mater Dei Institute) (Ireland). A New Ulster Magazine and The Honest Ulsterman (Northern Ireland). York Literary Review (U.K). Caper Literary Journal, Compose Journal and Ditch Poetry (US). Her translated work appears in Levure Littéraire Magazine (Germany & International), Recours au Poème Magazine (France), Şiirden Magazine (“Of Art”, Turkey), Revisita Itaka (Romania). American women’s magazines When Women Waken Journal and WomenArts Quarterly Journal (US) have published small series and single poems from her published collections.

 

Interviews and Media

 

Irish Times (September 2019)

Faced with the catastrophic canonical neglect of Irish women poets and writers in very real terms, there are many responses. Those of interrogation, of anger, of reclamation and of healing. These responses have all occurred, are continuing to occur among women writers across literary genres.

In her article, A profound deafness to the female voice (The Irish Times, April 18th, 2018), Sinéad Gleeson examines our responses as the women who have been left to reclaim our narrative heritages. Once again, it is up to women to use their time to respond, to do the corrective work of calling out male editors, and how this eats up their creative time, steering the focus away from their own work. (Read more here)

 


Honest Ulsterman

An Interview with Moyra Donaldson 

Each poet or academic involved has their own take, their own story, on how the absence of women has affected their work, esteem or their sense of the appalling lack in respect for the woman poet’s voice. Mine is simple, I do not want to be part of a generation of writers that did not face this and interrogate that absence. I do not want my daughter’s generation doing the work of interrogation and asking why we, now, are too lazy or complacent or afraid to question the Irish perception of poetic authority. I am not someone who feels that it is right to walk away. (Read more here)

 


Irish Times 

I am a poet without a landscape, a woman poet without a narrative heritage. I began tracing the huge startling landscape of US and European women’s poetry while in college. I could not find its equivalent here in Ireland. bind reflects the facts of absence and fragmentation in my poetry landscape, and the absence of women poets in our cultural narrative. bind is a book-length poem loosely divided into chapters. These chapters act as boundaries within the action of the poem and provide gateways to differing aspects of the processes inherent in bind. The title of the book takes its name from the triple hyphenation that occurs irregularly within the first chapter. bind explores movement, objects and colours that occur in a no-place or a stasis, the fragmented landscape,

‘I am a poet without a landscape, a woman poet without a narrative heritage’, a reflection on bind at The Irish Times

 


Live Encounters

Peter O’Neill on She and Cycles at Live Encounters

In She Christine Murray takes a figure from ancient Irish mythology the , as in the shee in Banshee for example, who are powerful feminine forces in pre-Christian Irish folklore, taking on the many guises. In Murray’s She they are represented by the Crow Woman, symbolised by a black feather. And it is with this singular image, of a black crow’s feather, that Murray enters the text

 

Opening

A black feather
From her
Black feather tree

Sways down

She has spread
Her blacks out
For carrion lovers

Lace their moons with trawling nets

Bird-pecked crabbed and sweet apple
Windfalls

Roll them into grass
Bamboo worms a curve into flared ground

Black feather sways down

Through dream
To this waking place/
Of stones

(Read the full review here)


Bangor Literary Journal

Interview and poems at The Bangor Literary Journal [PDF]

Bangor (notes) [PDF]

 


Lagan Online

About Poethead, An interview about the foundation and development of Poethead at Lagan Online  

I saw an opportunity to create a space for sharing poetry and poetry translations online some nine years ago. I did not envisage that it would be a long term project at all. I view Poethead as my blog primarily, there just happen to be three indices built into it where I have listed contemporary, translated, experimental and ‘hidden’ poetry. I rarely solicit work from poets, mostly they contact me. In some cases I have had to contact poetry editors for copyright permission. There is always quite an amount of correspondence in my email. As I only publish weekly, in as much as I can. The publication list is rolling (ongoing). (Read more here)

 


The Pan Review

 

I read everything by Plath, and moved on rapidly to (Anne) Sexton, Ní Dhomhnaill, Boland, Mina Loy, and H.D. I educated myself in the UCD library and from there began a lifetime of searching for a quality of voice that I felt as ‘absence’. I began to read translated works also including Nagy, Sachs, Tuominen, Lorca and others. When I left college I took that sound with me. I got my degree in Art History and English, although the only thing that interested me in English was Old and Middle English.

On publishing women, cultural absence and how to change things at The Pan Review

 


Compose Journal

 
The Story Behind “bind” by Chris Murray  – Compose Journal –
Narcissus & Stalk The Open Ring   Compose Journal –

 

An Interview with Moyra Donaldson at Honest Ulsterman (Feb. 2019)

The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets (2017) catalysed a lot of discussion on the canon and its absences. There was a lot of talk about how we could approach this problem, which we all believe represented another iteration of a consistent problem. Each poet or academic involved has their own take, their own story, on how the absence of women has affected their work, esteem or their sense of the appalling lack in respect for the woman poet’s voice. Mine is simple, I do not want to be part of a generation of writers that did not face this and interrogate that absence. I do not want my daughter’s generation doing the work of interrogation and asking why we, now, are too lazy or complacent or afraid to question the Irish perception of poetic authority. I am not someone who feels that it is right to walk away.

(Read more here)

Issue 61, The North (January 2019)

Into the Light Blown Dark; Working with Freda Laughton’s ‘Now I am a Tower of Darkness’ 

Freda Laughton produced one book of poetry, A Transitory House (Jonathan Cape, 1945). At the time of the book’s publication, Freda Laughton would have been 38 years old. Laughton’s chosen sphere was the female intimate, and within this context she was an expressionist of some ability. Her work presaged that of Eavan Boland and of Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill. There is a certain fragility and darkness in Laughton’s expression which imbues it with shadow. Her art was masterful, not least in the following poem,  ‘In a Transitory Beauty’,

‘Maternal the shell
Cradling the embryo bird,
A transitory house,
Fashioned for brief security,
Of purposeful fragility,
A beauty built to be broken.’

(by Freda Laughton)

Order the Magazine here.

 

Book Links

Three Red Things  (Smithereens Press, 2013)
Cycles  (Lapwing Press, 2013)
The Blind (Oneiros Books, 2013)
She  (Oneiros Books, 2014)
Signature  (Bone Orchard Press, 2014)
And Agamemnon Dead; An Anthology of Early 21st Century Irish Poetry (Peter O’Neill and Walter Ruhlmann)
Eavan Boland: Inside History (Arlen house, 2016)
The Gladstone Readings Anthology (Famous Seamus, 2017)
A Hierarchy of Halls (Smithereens Press, 2018)

bind (Turas Press, 2018)

 

A Selection From My Publications

small mirror‘ at The Honest Ulsterman
‘narcissus’ and ‘stalk the open ring’  at Compose Journal (Spring 2017)
A series from The Blind at Ditch Poetry
From Cycles at  Recours au Poème
Three Red Things at Smithereens Press
Glendalough; at Iseult Gonne’s Grave at Levure littéraire
Sans at The Southword Journal

 

 Irish Poetry Reading Archive

Recent Anthologies


“Bind” and “A Hierarchy of Halls” 2018


‘Bind’ can be ordered directly from Turas Press

Image: Detail of Bound / Boundless an artwork created by Salma Ahmad Caller in response to the poem.

Photo © Christian Caller

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Image © Salma Caller, 2018

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