As an English student and constant reader, I am always analyzing texts, deciding if I like it. Deciding if I like something means recognizing if it is “good” or “bad”, which is a bit tricky. Every person has their own idea of what is good and what is bad, but there are some elements of poetry that make a good poet stand out amongst the sea of writers and one of those is Carrie Murphy.
Carrie is an obvious lover of language. She has a strong English background (she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree, as well as, Masters of Fine Arts). Carrie produces affecting, poignant poetry.
What Carrie does that makes her poetry good is her timeless themes. Within her poetry is a strong sense of girlhood and what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. This is not to say males would not enjoy her poetry. In fact, they most certainly will, because Carrie approaches her subjects with honest grit that might surprise male readers. Her poetry can be crude, dirty and downright shocking. It’s real and that’s what I love about it.
Her poetry has the power to take me back to a younger me and make me remember some of the happier times of adolescence but her words also resurface some of the not so happy times. I find myself gasping at her phrases as I recognize and remember a version of myself.
She writes of the innocence of first kisses and crushes, such as in her poem “Riding in Cars with Boys.” In said poem, she writes, “You like a boy in a ska band so you & T make a screenname trombonerchick11 & IM him he doesn’t have a girlfriend he drives a Buick with a furry Shriner’s fez hanging he looks like he wants to die so love him deeply.” She writes of these sweet topics with ease but also delves into darker subjects flawlessly. She doesn’t shy away from any topic. Instead, she embraces it, like when she writes in her poem “Filigreed“, “How I craved the tiniest bit of metal in the hollow of my throat & how the boy said if you wear a screw around your neck is it supposed to represent how many people you’ve screwed?” She writes about real girls, about sex, pregnancy scares, the trials and tribulations of being female.
Carrie has been published in various magazines and literary journals, nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has recently published a full length book (Keyhole Press) of poems called Pretty Tilt. Her poetic voice is the voice of womanhood today. She is a poet women can read for comfort; her words are like an old friend, any woman can find solace in her writing.
Carrie may not have an Oprah endorsed book (yet) but she is definitely worth a read; you won’t regret it.
Carrie is a freelance writer and teacher from Baltimore. To read about this young poet, follow her blog and order her book, visit www.carrie-murphy.com