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Department of English

Wednesday, April 9 at 4:30 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room

Erin Murphy, a Washington College graduate who has gone on to enjoy a post-collegiate career as a poet, will return to her alma mater to present a reading in the Sophie Kerr Room on Wednesday, April 9, at 4 p.m.

Murphy (class of 1990) is the author of Dislocation and Other Theories, Science of Desire, and Too Much of This World (winner of the Anthony Piccione Poetry Prize). She is Assistant Professor of English at Penn State Altoona.

She has received the Foley Poetry Award, the National Writers’ Union Poetry Award judged by Donald Hall, a $5,000 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Murphy’s reading is part of Washington College’s 2007-2008 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series. The series honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College’s literary culture.

When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor”-the famed Sophie Kerr Prize-and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Admission to Erin Murphy’s April 9 poetry reading is free and open to the public. The Sophie Kerr Room is located in Miller Library. For more information, call 410/778-7879.

Listen to Erin Murphy read and discuss some of her poems:

Read more by and about Erin Murphy

Erin talks about her new book Dislocation and Other Theories and her craft in an interview with Tana Jean Welch in The Southeast Review.

Erin writes about “Coveting Thy Neighbor’s Poem” in the third issue of The Southeast Review.

Selected poems: “Everyone Has a Story,” “Confession,” and “Satellite,” from the website for Science of Desire at Word Press.

Click to enlarge photos.

Murphy balances her darker poems with ones that are more joyous.
Murphy speaks with some folks from out of town after the reading.
Meredith Hadaway and Professor Lang have questions for Murphy.
Erin Murphy shares stories about the origins of some of her poems.
Murphy chats with one of her first poetry instructors.

Murphy signs a book for one of her old poetry instructors, who recognizes key lines in her new work that germinated in a poem she wrote for his class.