Rich Murphy

Rich Murphy’s poetry collections have won two national book awards: Gival Press Poetry Prize 2008 for Voyeur and in 2013 the Press Americana Poetry Prize for AmericanaAsylum Seeker is the third in a trilogy out now (2018) Press Americana. First in the trilogy was Americana, Body Politic, the second, published by Prolific Press in January 2017. Murphy’s first book The Apple in the Monkey Tree was published in 2007 by Codhill Press. Chapbooks includeGreat Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Phoems for Mobile Vices(BlazeVox) and Paideia (Aldrich Press). For more information see or




The storybook's pages popped out

into the rooms of the house where she

now lives. Every house on her street

was constructed in the same manner.


Small cities outside the neighborhood

sprang from Dante's Inferno.  In the state

capital pinstriped men pass judgment:

Barbie dolls hanged from arms of husbands –


single mothers to the pitch of poverty.

To the west clitori are manicured

with seashells; to the east head strong

women bathe in acid. From the nightmares


waiting for dimension in the light of yet

another day, no children startle with hope

when authors become despots and fix

their pens around their subjects.