Killing the Murnion Dogs (Paperback)
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Poetry. KILLING THE MURNION DOGS, Joe Wilkins's first full-length collection, is a series of elegies. Herein we grieve years and fathers, highways and memories, rivers, shotgun shacks, and myths. These poems sing us down the two-lane highways and backroads of the vast American interior, from the hard-luck plains of eastern Montana to the cypress swamps of the Mississippi Delta, yet KILLING THE MURNION DOGS refuses the easy answers of nostalgia or cynicism. Rather, these poems insist that we "remember the good pain," that despite it all "this dust here is home." And so we search always, insistently for a place to abide inside the loss. "It is time to grieve," Wilkins tells us, "to believe in the world again. "The most striking component of it is its awareness of 'the whole world.' What is ordinary becomes transcendent. In places derelict and seemingly unexceptional, Wilkins compels us to recognize what is worth salvage, worth praise." Deborah Kim, Indiana Review.
About the Author
Joe Wilkins's debut, KILLING THE MURNION DOGS, was published by Black Lawrence in 2011 and subsequently named a finalist for a number of national post-publication book awards, including the Paterson Poetry Prize and the High Plains Book Award. Wilkins's other books include a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing up on the Big Dry(Counterpoint 2012), winner of a 2014 GLCA New Writers Award—an honor that has previously recognized early works by the likes of Richard Ford, Louise Erdrich, and Alice Munro, among others—and another book of poems, NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY WESTWARD (White Pine 2012). He has recently published two chapbooks, one of essays, We Had to Go On Living (Red Bird Chapbooks 2014) and one of poetry, Leviathan (Iron Horse 2014). Wilkins's latest book is Far Enough: A Western in Fragments, a chapbook of short fiction from Black Lawrence Press (2015). Wilkins lives with his wife, son, and daughter in McMinnville, Oregon, where he teaches writing at Linfield College.