T H E   B E S T   N E W   W O M E N   P O E T S


  by Abby E. Murray

Winner of the 2019 Perugia Press Prize
for a first or second book of poetry by a woman

Hail and Farewell is a triumph of womanhood and a reminder that we are all touched by war. The small questions the poems ask about what it means to love, to support, and to find strength in the spaces of everyday are magnified against a backdrop of conflict and by the desire to make something from uncertainty. There is a sense that the world could be upended at any moment, and these poems open those moments and ask us to step closer.”

                                              - Dorianne Laux 
“At a time when lines of ideological division run particularly deep, it gives me hope to see a poet exploring the nuances of patriotism and pacifism through the voice of a speaker who embraces the duality of her identity as both a wife and also a person defined by much more than her gender or marital status. Though full of men, Hail and Farewell is a book made of everything that a woman is expected to be—beautiful, fecund, and endlessly patient—cast against the surreal landscapes of a homecoming ceremony for returning soldiers or the military family housing that turns strangers into reluctant intimates. Most of all, I’m heartened to see that what I’ve always told my students is true: If there is a story that needs to be told, there is someone who can tell it. And damn, but Abby E. Murray tells this one.”

- Keetje Kuipers

Cover art by
Meredith Bergmann

Cover art photo by
John Bigelow Taylor

Book design by
Rebecca Olander & Jeff Potter

ABBY E. MURRAY'S DEBUT HAIL AND FAREWELL is a bold examination of the intimate relationship between a soldier and a pacifist, bound together by choice. The collection reveals a wife’s perspective during her husband’s deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, including the whiplash of infertility experienced between tours. Inseparable by heart, their marriage is also built on disagreement. Military spouses are often expected to express absolute patriotism, and to conform to gender roles shaped by sexist, archaic ideals. But these poems don’t aim to accuse; rather, they call for compassion and community in the face of isolation. Capable of inserting levity into the most dire of circumstances, the poet never lets the reader forget what is at stake. Murray tears the idealized from the real, illuminating the brutality of battle and loss—traumas we tend to avoid in both military and civilian life. Hail and Farewell is an expertly woven treatise on love, war, and politics.


Author photo by Jenny L. Miller

ABBY E. MURRAY completed her MFA at Pacific University and her Ph.D. in English at SUNY Binghamton, where this book was written. She’s taught creative writing at high school and university levels and currently teaches argumentative writing to U.S. Army War College fellows sent to the University of Washington. Abby is the editor of Collateral, a literary journal concerned with the impact of violent conflict and military service beyond the combat zone, and as the 2019-2021 poet laureate for the city of Tacoma, Washington, she offers free poetry workshops around Pierce County, including at military posts and detention centers for undocumented youth. This is her first book. 



2020 Perugia Press Prize
for a First or Second Book by a Woman

Prize: $1000 and publication
Submit manuscripts between August 1 and November 15, 2019


PO Box 60364, Florence, MA  01062