With The Cottage Builder’s Letter, gifted poet George Murray comes into his own with a new book of sumptuous lyrical narratives. He constructs his remarkable stories-in-song around challenges in the lives of people claiming their right to exist in a world seemingly set against them. Highly crafted, generous in tone, and always with a moral authority, The Cottage Builder’s Letter tackles the larger historical issues of Murray’s own Irish background by creating heroes of well-storied, fictional characters such as a nameless Muskoka cottage builder, the singular Seamus Me Fein (Seamus myself), and his parents and his grandparents, vaulting their hard luck and hard work into poetry driven by bardic rhythms. Murray re-invigorates traditional rhythms the same way he surprises us by creating fresh figures from old tales. Whether his subject is a modern-day Damocles, a drowning man waiting for Noah, an Egyptian on the Red Sea, or the Cassandra myth updated to contemporary urban scenes, Murray’s poetry bursts with a protean vigour.
About George Murray
George Murray’s four books of poetry are Carousel, The Cottage Builder’s Letter, The Hunter, and, most recently, The Rush to Here.His work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines in Canada, and in the U.S. and Australia, including Descant, The Iowa Review, The Globe and Mail, Jacket, Mid-American Review, Nerve, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Slope. He is a contributing editor with Maisonneuve Magazine and editor of Bookninja.com. Raised in rural Ontario, he now lives in St. John’s.
“[Murray] demonstrates that a firm controlling metaphor in a poem need not obviate the free play of imagination.…Highly impressive.…” –Globe and Mail