Volume 3, Issue 5
Agatha leans against her wrecked Toyota and takes in her surroundings. The clouds list in the indigo sky. The moon waxes bigger. The ringing clears from her ears, giving way to the faint whisper of leaves fluttering in the woods. An animal shrieks from beyond the tree line then releases a low undulating cry that hushes the life around it. After a pause, a chorus of toads bark in the underbrush and crickets peep and titter until they resume their song in harmony along the low grass. Agatha’s breath sounds loudest of all, long and labored.”
-DW McKinney, “Rebirth”
Within these poems, we see the impact on a girl struggling to cope with a mother gone mad; as a woman, Murphy tries to understand how to be in a healthy relationship though the ones she witnessed growing up were skewed. We see red flags in places Murphy doesn’t, because she couldn’t at the time. Having to witness her mistreatment at the hands of men she should have known to run from is made worse by the realization she doesn’t know how to leave. How could she? You can only know what you’ve experienced, what you’ve already learned.
Patricia Murphy is an American writer and teacher based in Arizona. She teaches at Arizona State University and is the founding editor of Superstition Review. Her first book, Hemming Flames, was published by University Press of Colorado in the summer 2016 and went on to win the 2017 Milt Kessler Award for Poetry. Bully Love, her second collection, won the 2019 Press 53 Award for Poetry. I spoke with her about the process of crafting a collection decades in the making.
After publishing three novels, I turned to making pictures seven years ago when I began to experience vision problems that prevented me from reading or writing except for very brief stretches. I fell in love with the silence of image-making. I love it still.
The Latest With SFK Press
Writing helps center me. It helps me process the difficult and helps release whatever I’m going through. I’m also encouraged by people who send me messages describing how an essay or story I wrote made them laugh or gave them comfort. There’s a sense of freedom. Writing is a process of healing that I try to extend beyond myself.
THE NEW SOUTHERN FUGITIVES is hiring a POETRY EDITOR. This is a PAID part-time remote position: $100/month for 5-10 hours/month. WHO WE ARE LOOKING FOR: Someone with clear, identifiable expertise in poetry (for example, maybe you’ve acted as poetry editor somewhere...
Congratulations to our 2020 Pushcart Prize nominees!
As we rollover next week to Volume 3 of the New Southern Fugitives, I would like to express gratitude for all that has come before—for the stories that have uplifted us and reminded us that we are not alone in our experiences. And I would like to express gratitude for the stories to come. Regardless of how divided our world may feel, I am convinced that we will always find connections to one another in the stories we tell.