Poetry Reading⁠—Patricia Colleen Murphy & Jacinta V. White

Bully Love, Patricia Colleen Murphy's second book, won the 2019 Press 53 Award for Poetry, selected by Poetry Series Editor Tom Lombardo. Bully Love follows the poet from Ohio to Arizona, from cows and cornfields to the Sonoran Desert, from youth to middle age, from daughter to orphan, from child to childfree, from loneliness to love. As the poet leaves a broken home to build a new life for herself, she struggles to adapt to a land teeming with dangers.


Against a searing sunny backdrop, the poems describe how she makes peace with an inhospitable life and landscape as she overcomes hardships such as madness, death, depression, fear, anger, loneliness, heat, and hills. She ultimately finds beauty in the desert Edward Abbey called, "not the most suitable of environments for human habitation." The poems in Bully Love examine the long-term effects of displacement: a mother displaced from her home by mental illness, a women displaced from the Midwest to the Southwest, a girl scout camp displaced by a Uranium processing plant, desert wildlife displaced by urban sprawl and mining, wilderness displaced by careless tourists, ranches displaced by freeways, solitude displaced by companionship, fear displaced by joy. The collection examines how humans form relationships with both landscapes and lovers, all through the eyes of a woman who leaves a forlorn home, suffers relentless loss, and falls in love in and with one of the world's harshest ecosystems.

Author Bio:

Patricia Colleen Murphy was named winner of the 2019 Press 53 Award for Poetry with her collection Bully Love, which was selected from more than 400 entries by Press 53 poetry series editor Tom Lombardo and will be published by Press 53 on April 1. Murphy is the founder of Superstition Review at Arizona State University, where she teaches creative writing and magazine production. Her collection Hemming Flames (Utah State University Press) won the 2016 May Swenson Poetry Award, judged by Stephen Dunn, and the 2017 Milt Kessler Poetry Award. Her writing has appeared in many literary journals, including The Iowa Review, Quarterly West, and American Poetry Review, and has received awards from Gulf Coast and Bellevue Literary Review, among others.

Author Bio:

Jacinta V. White is the author of the poetry collection Resurrecting the Bones: Born from a Journey through African American Churches and Cemeteries in the Rural South. She is a NC Teaching Artist, poet, and certified corporate trainer and facilitator. In 2001, she founded The Word Project where she works with individuals and groups using art as a catalyst for healing. In 2015, she founded Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing to provide a platform for those to tell their story through poetry, creative nonfiction, and photography. Jacinta’s chapbook, broken ritual, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2012. She is widely published and the recipient of several awards, including the first Press 53 Open




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Event date: 
Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
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