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When I Wear Bob Kaufman’s Eyes by Thomas Murphy is a unique look from inside the mind of Tom outward at the landscape of America today. He pulls no punches as he rages against injustice while finding a sliver of community. 

coming soon

When I Wear Bob Kaufman’s Eyes is an intimate poetry of witness, a celebration of nature, language, and art. Lush yet economical, piercing, it explores breath and space, the verse is often projective. In a painful and playful study of experience, an elegiac reverie never forgetting a mission to testify what love and peace have met in conflict, in America, Tom Murphy is injured, angered, and still transcendent. He offers us a forgiving embrace of culture, a world in crisis. He introduces us to the characters that inform our everyday, a journal poet serving up a daily dreambook, never shying away from the nightmare, reminding us “our/brok en/ hi story, /mir rors/ u s.” This is poetry of the 21st Century, we do not drown in aesthetics or appeasement. There is a strong personal voice that pummels through abstraction, seizes the unknowable and the unanswerable, through the magic of juxtaposition, and awakens and heals. In this book of poems there is a narrative that embraces truth, and beauty is there all along or arrives before we know it. This book is a life.

Michael Rothenberg, editor and publisher

Meet the Author

Tom Murphy reading at open mic

Tom Murphy, the 2021-2022 Corpus Christi Poet Laureate. His books: Snake Woman Moon (El Grito del Lobo Press, 2021), Pearl (FlowerSong Press 2020), American History (Slough Press, 2017), co-edited Stone Renga (Tail Feather, 2017), with When I Wear Bob Kaufman’s Eyes forthcoming (Gnashing Teeth Publishing). Current writing in Writing Texas, Corpus Christi Writers, Concho River Review, and Odes and Elegies: Eco-Poetry from the Texas Gulf Coast. Murphy is Langdon Review’s 2022 Writer-In-Residence. He is a founding member of the Peoples Poetry Festival. He was featured in the Windward Review’s Author Spotlight.

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