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Jeanne Murray Walker

After Jeanne Murray Walker earned a Ph.D. in English, she returned to writing poetry and published five volumes, including Nailing Up the Home Sweet Home, Coming into History, and Gaining Time. Jeanne’s poetry appears in periodicals such as Image, Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Nation, The Georgia Review, and The Christian Century. She has received…

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A Conversation with Jeanne Murray Walker

By Luci Shaw Interview

 Jeanne Murray Walker is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently A Deed to the Light (University of Illinois Press) and New Tracks, Night Falling (Eerdmans). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Atlantic Monthly, Christian Century, American Poetry Review, Georgia Review, Image, and Best American Poetry. She is also an accomplished playwright, whose scripts have been performed in theaters…

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Poetry Friday: “In the Beginning Was the Word”

By Jeanne Murray WalkerMay 20, 2016

I can’t begin to count the number of poems which offer their language to re-imagining the Genesis creation story—maybe because poetry itself is an act of creation.  Jeanne Murray Walker’s creation narrative “In the Beginning Was the Word” (Image issue 85) plays exuberantly with language, as if in imitation of God’s exuberance in creating our…

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Repression, Oppression, Suppression: A Life of Domestic Routine

By Morgan MeisDecember 23, 2015

Somewhere in the middle of Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, the eponymous Jeanne eats a sandwich in her kitchen. We have, by that point in the film, seen quite a lot of Jeanne’s kitchen. We’ve watched Ms. Dielman cook in that kitchen, peel potatoes, wash dishes (shot from behind her back so…

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Returning to Form

By Peggy RosenthalNovember 20, 2019

    We’re all familiar with how traditional Western art forms were blown to bits in the early to mid-twentieth century. And we know the locus classicus for this in literature: T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, written in the wake of the First World War’s perceived destruction of civilization. Recall The Waste Land‘s characteristic phrases:…

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A Conversation with Les Murray

By J. Mark Smith Interview

In 2007, Dan Chiasson wrote in the New Yorker that Australian poet Les Murray is “now routinely mentioned among the three or four leading English-language poets.” His awards include the Grace Leven Prize, the Kenneth Slessor Prize, the Petrarch Prize, and the prestigious T.S. Eliot Award. In 1999 he was awarded the Queens Gold Medal…

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Poetry Friday: “Sister Storm”

By Jeanne Murray WalkerJanuary 20, 2017

I love the drama of this poem. Its title recalls St. Francis’s “Canticle of Brother Sun,” where Francis praises God through “Sister Moon,” “Brother Fire,” “Sister Water,” and so on. Jeanne Murray Walker’s Sister Storm, however, is violent and destructive—definitely not, in the poet’s view, an element through which to praise God. The poet talks…

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What Does It Mean to Be a “Religious” Poet?

By Brian VolckNovember 22, 2019

What does it mean to be labeled a “religious poet” in the twenty-first century? The term’s undoubtedly fraught, but “fraught” is perhaps the best word to describe the current relationship between religion and pretty much everything. Small wonder, though, if one accepts the argument of scholars such as Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Talal Asad, and Brent…

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Poetry Friday: “God Reads the Poem of the World with Interest”

By Jeanne Murray WalkerMarch 16, 2018

How to image good and evil? It’s hard to do in a way that astounds us afresh with how they penetrate every aspect of our lives. Yet Jeanne Murray Walker manages to do this in “God Reads the Poem of the World with Interest.” Evil is terrifyingly concrete: men setting a boy’s mother on fire…

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Poetry Friday: “The Music before the Music”

By Jeanne Murray WalkerJanuary 19, 2018

It is often hard to find the language to describe the sounds and impact of a piece of music. In “The Music before the Music” we encounter horns that “plow and plant Beethoven’s/great fields,” “the brash cymbal,” “the wigged-out chug of a bass viol.” In this loud and layered poem, Jeanne Murray Walker uses precisely…

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