"Murray is the best kind of literary biographer" – The Financial Times.
For more information about the books of Nicholas Murray
click HERE and access his website
Winner of the 2015 Basil Bunting Award for poetry

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Poetry of Brexit!

This England

This little raft, this tub, this oil-drum-lashed
construction on the waves, this fragile thing
with sails constructed from a ragged tablecloth
so proudly independent as it bobs and slaps
against the heaving seas, survives with crew
hand-picked to stare the foreign rabble out.
This floating island, sufficient to itself,
this little England all alone like Crusoe
on his empty beach beneath the palms,
in contemplation of its lovely littleness
while seabirds scream and glide above
and all the ocean and the skies look on.
Nicholas Murray

Published on the website of New Boots & Pantisocracies

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Crossings: A Journey Through Borders

My latest book, published on 7 July, can now be ordered in advance from Seren Books.
From the blurbWhy do we erect borders? What are they for? Can we do without them? Why do they generate such passion? With a major global refugee crisis and a highly polarised debate in the UK about membership of the European Union, poet and biographer Nicholas Murray’s lively and original exploration of the idea of borders – literal and metaphorical – could not be more timely.  Drawing on personal experience, anecdote, literary and imaginative sources, he crosses and re-crosses our idea of the border, examining the dividing lines, margins, barriers, limits, thresholds, liminal spaces, exclusive categories that we erect between ourselves and others or even inside ourselves. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Migrant Ship

My new pamphlet collection of poems, The Migrant Ship (Melos) is now available from the publisher.  As well as the title poem it contains other poems on the theme of migration and loss and I hope it represents an attempt to engage poetically with one of the most important of current political issues. Poets sometimes hesitate about writing 'political poetry' for fear of appearing strident, or even banal. (We can all think of poems that fit into that category.) But the idea that poets shouldn't write about politics would have mystified Milton, Marvell, Shelley, Yeats, Auden (not to mention a range of international 20th Century poets from Ritsos to Neruda) even though it was Auden who famously wrote "poetry makes nothing happen". Maybe it doesn't, in the sense of provoking events or actions, but it is part of our awareness of the world around us. It expresses a range of imaginative approaches to reality, it can show empathy and understanding, and all the things that the nastier political manifestations of our time seek to eliminate. Poetry, in fact, can be about anything it likes.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Mightiness of Apple

GA week ago Apple released their latest operating system for iPad (and presumably iPhone but I don't have one of those). It immediately became clear that the browser wasn't working and that sites couldn't be opened.  Quite a serious flaw you might think but a week on there is no sign of any solution or "bug fix" being proposed and the iPad browser is unusable.  

If this were a railway company there would be a note on the website apologising for delays to trains caused by signal failures, derailed goods trains or whatever but in the world of Apple there are no apologies and no explanations.  Yesterday I popped in to the gleaming white cathedral that is the Apple Store in Covent Garden in London and mentioned the problem to what turned out to be a relatively senior manager.  He conceded uneasily that there was a problem but he talked about it as if it were someone else's issue not Apple's and when asked if there would be a bug fix it was all he could do to stifle a yawn. Subjects, I was made to feel, must not question the moods and habits of the Emperor.

Those of us who use Apple products – largely for aesthetic reasons I sometimes think – have become used over the years to the lofty mandarin style of Apple, the company's serene washing of its hands of problems like this. It is nothing new.

And I suppose, like everyone else in the Mac cult, I will simply bow my head and accept and light a taper in front of the iconic white apple.

Update on 2 April no sign of that update. Apple still floundering and searching impossible. Have a nice day.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A Winter Song

Mirie it is while sumer y-last
With fugheles son
Oc nu neheth windes blast
And weder strong.
Ei, ei! What this nicht is long
And ich with wel michel wrong
Soregh and murne and fast.

Mirie It Is

(13th century English)

How days of summer
filled with birdsong end
and all my pleasure’s cut
by winter’s heralds,
cold and wind.

And now the nights
are harsh and long;
my heart aches
from sorrow, grief,
and hunger’s pangs.