a scrap of linen, a bone by Ginger Murchison


a scrap of linen, a bone by Ginger Murchison


A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection

ISBN 978-1-941209-33-2

9 X 6 paperback, 82 pages

Cover image by Dawn Surratt

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Praise for a scrap of linen, a bone

These are made poems. These are earned poems. These are poems of a full-fledged grownup who understands and celebrates the “slow hungers” that “breathe / beneath leveled dreams, / the South’s muscular sky / painted over now, paler blue.” This book will offer you welcome and pleasure.

Thomas Lux, author of Child Made of Sand

From where she stands in her fine first book of poems, a scrap of linen, a bone, Ginger Murchison can see in many directions—back to Stone Mountain and the earlier generations of her family, forward into the prospective futures of her progeny where “hunger and love have the same stinging insistence,” and widely from her own residence as neighbor, citizen, and poet. Murchison is a gifted lyric poet with a flair for story and character; thus, one by one, her rich, ever-focused poems cohere into an expansive historical document. The personal fuses with the cultural, as “between the corset and the right to vote,” and even the natural, reflects a human sense of order and a disordering profusion, like the seed-strewing “cottonwoods [as they] lose their minds.” To keep such abundance in order, Murchison exerts her own formal pressure, where “all those Mason jars / [are] labeled and lined up like soldiers” and a quilt-maker’s task is to “pay attention to lines.” It’s a poet’s rich imagination at work, making lines so capably sure, yet elastic and inclusive, that the result is “an oversized musical score,” and we’re all invited to dance. 

David Baker, author of Scavenger Loop: Poems

Aware of the invisible labor that makes things shine and the lived past that invests worn objects with the sheen of meaning, these poems, irrepressible in spirit and richly metaphoric, transform the mundane into “a luminescence / breaking open / the putty-colored day.” And what an expressive range—from the soaring ride in the tour de force “Roller Coaster” to the quiet of “leaves / pushing their way out of the pithy dark / to give us April / a good place to lay down our grief.”

Eleanor Wilner, editor of The American Poetry Review


About the Author

Ginger Murchison started writing poetry after a thirty-one-year teaching career. She earned her MFA from Warren Wilson College and, together with Thomas Lux, helped found POETRY at TECH at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she served as associate director for five years and as one of its Visiting McEver Chairs in Poetry. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Frost Place, is a member of the conference faculty for the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and is Editor in Chief of the acclaimed Cortland Review. She has two grown children, Arienne and Jason, and lives with her husband Clyde Mynatt in Ft. Myers, Florida.