Joan Murray

Joan Murray

Joan Murray is a poet, writer, and playwright whose books include:  Swimming for the Ark (White Pine Press/Distinguished Poets Series, 2015); Dancing on the Edge (Beacon Press, 2002);  Looking for the Parade (W. W. Norton, 1999);  Queen of the Mist (Beacon Press, 1999); and The Same Water (Wesleyan 1990). She was also commissioned by Broadway’s Jujamcyn Theaters to develop Queen of the Mist for the stage.


She is editor of The Pushcart Book of Poetry: Best Poems from 30 Years of the Pushcart Prize (2006); Poems to Live By in Troubling Times (Beacon 2006); Poems to Live By in Uncertain Times (Beacon 2001); and poetry co-editor of The Pushcart Prize: 25th Anniversary Edition (2001). She has contributed poetry and prose to The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Ms., The Nation, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times Syndicate; and to many literary journals, including Poetry, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner,The Hudson Review, The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, The Southern Review, Witness;  and to many anthologies, including The Pushcart Prize and The Best American Poetry.


She is Winner of the National Poetry Series Open Competition (chosen by Robert Bly); Winner of Poetry Society of America’s Gordon Barber Award (chosen by Billy Collins); Winner of the Wesleyan New Poets Series (chosen by William Matthews, Chase Twichell and Pamela Alexander); Runner-up for PSA’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award (chosen by Joyce Carol Oates); and finalist  for the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award (chosen by Amy Clampitt). She has won multiple fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (most recently 2011), the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts, and has had fourteen residencies at Yaddo and six at the MacDowell Colony since 1990. She has been a repeat guest on NPR’s Morning Edition and WPR's To The Best of Our Knowledge. 


Trained as a visual artist and with degrees in literature from Hunter College and NYU, she has 

taught at Lehman College of the City University of New York, and has been Poet in Residence 

at the New York State Writers Institute at the State University of New York at Albany.

Recent Book
Swimming for the Ark