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
|Publisher:||Black Lawrence Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.30(d)|
About the Author
Joe Wilkins's debut book of poems, 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), a finalist for the 2012 Montana Book and the 2013 Orion Book Award, and another book of poems, NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY WESTWARD (White Pine 2013). His fiction chapbook Far Enough: A Western in Fragments is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press. A National Magazine Award finalist and PEN Center USA Award finalist, Wilkins has published poems, essays, and stories in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, The Missouri Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Ecotone, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Sun, Orion, and Slate. Wilkins lives with his wife, son, and daughter in western Oregon, where he teaches writing at Linfield College.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you like beautiful narrative poetry with a driving narrative, this book is for you. Wilkins makes you ache for place and people and human connection. He has a knack for detail--the right detail at the right time. He knows how to write a line, and then the next line, and the one after that until you're wrapped up in his world, until you are his characters, until you are living their lives. A wonderful book of poetry.