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Shoreline of the Heart

poems by Joseph Murphy

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A perfect volume for the seeker and philosopher, this third collection from poet Joseph Murphy offers impressionistic expressions of day-to-day experiences viewed through the spiritual lens of Zen Buddhism. "In such a place, to be / meant no longer being bound / to where or when."

POETRY / General

ISBN: 978-1-947067-88-2 (print; softcover; perfect bound)

LCCN: 2019940589

Released May 2019

86 pages

Author Biography

Joseph Murphy has been published in a wide range of print and online journals, including The Ann Arbor Review, Northwind, and The Sugar House Review. He is the author of two previous books of poetry, Having Lived and Crafting Wings. Murphy is also a member of the Colorado Authors’ League and for eight years (2010 – 18) was poetry editor for an online literary publication, Halfway Down the Stairs.

Murphy was awarded the Eisner Prize for poetry, the highest award in the arts, University of California, Berkeley, while an undergraduate.



“This stunning new collection, by poet Joseph Murphy, offers not only a place to dwell for the philosophical seeker, but it points the reader towards a deeply nourishing journey of the soul. In Shoreline of the Heart, we are invited to enter a realm of deep connection to the earthly experience, as well as an understanding of higher vibrations. Through beautiful and engaging imagery, Murphy honors the energy and presence of the natural world, as in the lines, ‘Beneath the mountain’s scree, / a sea swells through veins / of grass and weed.’  Murphy reminds us to be both humbled by our place here and amazed by the sheer wonder of existence, when he writes, ‘We are the garden, the gardener and neither.’ Through these tenderly connected poems, Murphy shows us the shape and color of awakening: ‘I’m nestling against the sky’s narrow wing, / without longing or hope: / Awake.’  This book welcomes the reader with guidance and poetic support. Whatever you are seeking, you will find it here—you will come home to yourself. Most importantly, Murphy encourages us with the thought, ‘Perhaps, beyond these hills / another way exists.’”
—Cristina M. R. Norcross, editor of Blue Heron Review; author of Beauty in the Broken Places, Amnesia and Awakenings, and others

Articles and Reviews


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