Penn State Altoona

Murphy publishes sixth book of poetry

Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 477 hits

Erin Murphy, associate professor of English, has had her sixth book of poetry, Ancilla, published by Lamar University Press.

The poems in Ancilla are voiced by little-known historical figures who played ancillary roles in the lives of famous writers, artists, musicians, scientists, philosophers, and others, including Walt Whitman, Friedrich Nietzsche, Georgia O’Keefe, and Gustav Mahler. Ultimately, the poems in Ancilla address issues fundamental to feminist studies, such as gender roles, subservience, and power. Writer Julianna Baggott says the lives in Ancilla "are exquisitely researched and richly re-imagined" and that "Murphy re-opens history and biography with strength and subtlety."

One of the featured poems, "Mother of Invention," won the 2013 Fermoy International Poetry Prize. Other poems from the book were published in North American Review, Southern Indiana Review, Nimrod International Journal, Kalliope, and Atlanta Review, and elsewhere.

Ancilla is available for purchase from Amazon at and from Barnes and Noble at

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