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Read about WALKING ON RIPPLES in The Irish Times here.

david-murphyThe gigantic piece of writing I’ve been working on for more than a year is going through a transformation. What started out as a book-length, non-fiction, manuscript has morphed into that strange beast known as a novel. That in turn, of course, means major re-writing. What I’m working on now is something completely different to the first draft. Turning the factual into the fictional is quite a job – like starting the manuscript all over again.


The poem Bolivia made it out of the shortlist to finish in 3rd place in this year’s Red Line Book Festival poetry prize. Here are some photos from the event which was brilliantly run by the festival organisers. The main picture shows (left to right) fellow prizewinners Sean Kelly and Linda McKenna, along with poet and festival judge Adam Wyeth (photos: Eoin O’Neill)

With (L to R) poets Sean Kelly, Linda McKenna and judge Adam Wyeth at the Red Line Fest

With Adam Wyeth, poet and festival judge


Turns out I’ve been shortlisted for the poetry prize at this year’s Red Line Book Festival to be held in Dublin next month. I will read the poem Bolivia in the Tallaght Civic Theatre on Wednesday October 10. The event kicks off at 6pm. A dozen names are on the shortlist with three prizes to play for. A trio of poets have two poems on the list so expect the winners to come from them – but, fingers crossed, you never know! More info here

One more bit of news on the poetry front: the University of Limerick were in touch to say that the 2018 edition of THE STONY THURSDAY BOOK annual anthology will be launched on Tuesday October 2 in Limerick City Library, The Granary, Michael Street at 6.30pm. This is my third appearance in the STB.


This morning I sit at my PC staring at the view outside the north-facing window of my upstairs writing room. Autumn chill knocks on the panels of glass with winter not far behind. The heat of summer is just a memory now. Time to shelve outdoor pursuits and get stuck into the serious writing season. Finished polishing a new short story written to a deadline of tomorrow, 15th. Off the story goes to the USA for a few hard-earned dollars. When I push the send button two things happen: the rain starts bleating against the window once again and my screen becomes a blank page. What will I work on now – isn’t this writing life just great?


It looks like the publisher of my previous book, the Liffey Press, is reaching the end of the road. In a recent email, proprietor David Givens wrote to me to confirm that the company no longer operates from its Raheny office in Dublin and is now beginning to wind down. A pity, as the Liffey Press had over years built up a brave, interesting and eclectic catalogue of titles, of which WALKING ON RIPPLES was one of many. I wish David all the best in his retirement … it’s time to suck in the cheeks and begin the trek for a new publisher.


On a recent Saturday The Guardian published an article by one Sarah Churchwell, the sub-heading of which states: “Poe, Updike, Roth, Mailer: many male authors have contributed to a culture in which the credibility of women is undermined.” The key things to be vilified in this article are patriarchy and misogyny. In these days of #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, not many people would argue with that. But Churchwell goes on to say, “Some of the worst culprits are … men telling stories in the very decades when women were making real political and professional gains.” In case we don’t get the message in this lengthy and overblown piece, she – in the very next sentence – places partial blame for patriarchy and misogyny on “certain men, including influential storytellers”.
The authors mentioned above, plus others including Bellow and Coetzee, are lynched on the gallows of misogyny (so is Herman Melville – his crime? Not enough female characters in MOBY-DICK – no, I’m not making this up – according to the gospel of Churchwell, Melville should not have written a work of fiction about whaling because not enough women were involved in that occupation in the year of publication, 1851).

We are in the dodgy territory of authors being charged with what the characters in their books say and do. The article attempts to counter this by stating, “The standard rejoinder is that this is the character’s misogyny, not the author’s” – but Churchwell then hangs JM Coetzee out to dry because of the thoughts and actions of Professor David Lurie, main character in the classic novel DISGRACE. To make matters worse, Churchwell compounds her own disgraceful witch hunt by adding, “Male readers … rarely use the compliment ‘universal’ to describe a book written by a woman.”

I, and several male writers and readers of my acquaintance, do not gender-differentiate between authors. Shame on Sarah Churchwell for suggesting that men do this. It does not matter one whit to me, or to my male writer-reader friends, that the likes of Lessing, Atwood, Roy and Mantel are women. We do not consider them as men or women, but simply as great writers – ‘universal’ in fact.  For what it’s worth, the full Guardian article can be found here


A stunning new book landed on my lap a few days ago. AFTER ON by Rob Reid is a door-stopping hardback of 552 pages. It’s densely written so concentration is a must. Stick with it, it’s worth the effort. A menacing near-future plot will frighten the bejayzus out of you, though much of the novel is set in the era of the late nineties and early 2000’s. This is cutting edge stuff about crassness and greed, venture capitalism, creeping connectivity and a scary new social networking site called Phluttr. Techs, geeks and nerds abound within the Silicon Valley world of AFTER ON. If you are the sort of person, I hope you are, who is alarmed by globalisation and smart advertising, if the likes of Starbucks setting up shop in every nook and cranny irritates you, if Facebook annoys the hell out of you, if the tweets of ignorant, arrogant and downright dangerous presidents madden and terrify you in equal parts, then WhatsApp your friends and followers and command them to read this book – accept no excuses!

All of last year’s posts are now on the News Archive 2017-11 page up on the menu bar.



Leave a Comment
  1. Frank / Jan 31 2011 11:44 am

    Hi Dave,

    Good work on the new site!


    • David Murphy / Feb 3 2011 3:50 pm

      Thanks, Frank. WordPress is a whole lot easier on the eye than MySpace.

  2. Sam / Feb 6 2011 3:51 pm

    Looks the biz Dave. Good luck with it!!

  3. Adam Jones / Mar 27 2011 12:58 am

    Refreshing review! Great stuff.

  4. David Murphy / Mar 27 2011 12:38 pm

    There’s been a huge amount of hits on that review, Adam. Next time I post a review, hopefully soon, I’ll start up a reviews section and put them all together on a dedicated page rather than on the news page. At the moment my reviews are in different places. For instance, there’s a bad, and I mean BAD, review of the TV series ‘Lost’ in among the ‘Thirteen MySpace Blogs’ up on the toolbar. I’ll try to keep the new review page, when I get it started, confined to visual media.

  5. jamesosbornenovels / Sep 13 2012 8:04 pm

    Hi David
    Enjoyed your blog. Plan to check in regularly — I signed up to follow. Hope you’ll check out the short stories on my blog and perhaps follow also — are novels and short stories seem to be of are of similar genres.

  6. Alex Bardy / May 23 2013 2:00 pm

    Hiya David,

    There’s no obvious way to contact you through the website, so just thought I’d let you know that I have in fact reviewed your book, Bird of Prey, for the BFS (British Fantasy Society) — I sent it in a few weeks back but have no idea when it’ll finally appear on the website, so please accept my apologies for that. Fingers crossed, it;ll appear some time soon.

    Keep up the good work,


  7. David Murphy / May 23 2013 3:02 pm

    Great to hear from you, Alex. I look forward to that “Bird of Prey” review at the BFS!
    And I’ll add clearer contact details to the top of this page.

  8. Sam de Man / Jul 1 2013 8:18 am

    Well Dave
    You are brave to have….
    Revelation but opened
    Inner self to rid …. The mortal
    Of the not ignoble
    TRUTH .

    (Der won’t b all dat much slaggin….. Really)

    • David Murphy / Jul 1 2013 10:57 am

      Slaggin? I forgot about that. The slaggin of purveyors of poterey will only be allowed by those who put a pint on the pote’s table before they start their slaggin.

      • Sam de Man / Jul 1 2013 12:12 pm

        Sure it’s de drink
        dat ….
        has u..
        I de way u

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