Christine Murray is renowned for her poetry and her work on behalf of women writers. She is known internationally for her work as creator and curator of the website Poethead. This is a free, open access database of women’s poetry which is dedicated to the written expression of women poets from Ireland and throughout the world.
Chris is a passionate advocate for the voices of Irish women poets, and an active member of the group Fired! Irish Women Poets and the Canon, who campaign for parity of esteem and inclusion of Irish women poets in the literary canon. Christine describes the background to Fired! here.
Christine’s own poetry has been widely published, both in print and online, in chapbooks, anthologies and journals. Her publications include:
Three Red Things, (Smithereens Press, 2013)
Cycles, (Lapwing Press, 2013)
The Blind, (Oneiros Books, 2013)
Signature, (Bone Orchard Press, 2014)
A Hierarchy of Halls, Smithereens Press)
Anthologies representing her work include
And Agamemnon Dead: An Anthology of Early 21st Century Irish Poetry, (eds Peter O’Neill and Walter Ruhlmann;
All The Worlds Between, (Eds Srilata Krishnan and Fióna Bolger, Yoda Publishing, 2017),
The Gladstone Readings, (Ed. Peter O’Neill, Famous Seamus Publishing, 2017)
Chris was a contributor to Eavan Boland: Inside History, (Eds Siobhán Campbell and Nessa O’Mahoney, Arlen House, 2016).
Reviews of bind
bind is the first of Christine’s books to be published by Turas Press (October 2018). Eavan Boland described the poetry of bind thus:
“These elegant and impressionistic poems work with a fractured landscape, one that will haunt and engage the reader…poems will remain in the reader’s memory long after they have caught the reader’s attention.”
In her review of bind in The Blue Nib 36 , December 2018, Emma Lee noted
” The graceful control of the poems demonstrates skill and understanding of lyric and subject. bind is a book to dip into and return to with the possibility of seeing something new on each visit.”
Irish Times article on the writing of bind
The Irish Times (Fri October 18th, 2018) published an article by Christine about the creative process that underpinned the development and creation of bind.
This is the second collection by Chris from Turas Press, published in September, 2020. Gold Friend is an innovative collection of poetry about nature and the environment: a meditation on the relationship between the individual and the living world. It is deeply concerned with both the physical world, the environment around us, and the place of the individual within it. The intensity of the poet’s observation charts both the deterioration of the natural world, and the hope for renewal through the healing power of nature.
Praise for Gold Friend
“At a time of environmental crisis, Gold Friend speaks powerfully of the ties that bind our living world. Through the associated figures of the tree and the bird, Chris Murray illuminates the relationship between dependence and freedom, and meditates on the creative necessity for close observation. These oblique poems can suddenly dazzle with their play of substance and light, as they move from the hidden intricacy of root systems, to the beetle’s reflective sheen. As well as bearing witness to the strange beauty of the natural world, these innovative poems testify to the remarkable intensity of human perception. They deserve our closest attention.”
Multi-media Gold Friend
To celebrate the release of Gold Friend, Turas Press, in collaboration with Christian Caller and Una Lee, created a mulit-media video montage for the new Turas Press YouTube channel:“Celebrating Gold Friend”. You can see Chris reading her poems and eavesdrop on the discussion about the themes and language of the book with Dr Lucy Collins of UCD. The eminent artist Salma Ahmad Caller, who created the image for the cover design, reflects on her favourite poems in the collection. Una Lee, musician and sound artist, is also featured performing her musical version of one of the Gold Friend poems, “Nocturne.” You can view the video here .
Irish Times article on writing Gold Friend
Chris summarised her reflections on the process and purpose of writing Gold Friend in an article that was published in the Irish Times on September 16th, 2020.