By Gerry Murphy

The Humours of Nothingness

The latest collection of poems from Cork’s uncrowned poet laureate Gerry Murphy


All Poetry, Poetry from Ireland


The Humours of Nothingness by Gerry Murphy

From the opening poem in which he recognises himself “raving blessedly/ between truth and delusion”, to the closing poem’s return to “something new and strange: / yourself, again”, in his latest book Cork’s uncrowned poet Gerry Murphy laureate explores, confronts, ventriloquizes, indulges and, at every available opportunity, undermines the very notion of the self engaged in a writing life – even as he takes on the duties of that calling with total committment.

At once hilarious and melancholy, earnest and throwaway, the poems in The Humours of Nothingness take nothing for granted – least of all the power of humour in the entirely serious business of staying sane.

Murphy’s hilarious existential angst seems more relevant than ever during lockdown.
—Martina Evans, The Irish Times

“[A] thrilling and provocative master of poetic monologue and social commentary.”
— Thomas McCarthy

“[O]ne of the finer love poets writing today.”
— Dean Browne

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About The Author


GERRY MURPHY is an Irish poet, born in Cork in 1952. His poetry collections include A Small Fat Boy Walking Backwards (1985, 1992) and five previous collections from Dedalus, Rio de la Plata and All That (1993), The Empty Quarter (1995), Extracts from the Lost Log-Book of Christopher Columbus (1999), Torso of an Ex-Girlfriend (2002), My Flirtation with International Socialism (2010) and Muse (2015) His latest collection is The Humours of Nothingness (2020). Dedalus also published End of Part One: New and Selected Poems (2006). He has published two chapbooks with Southword Editions. Murphy's poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Poetry Ireland Review, The Well Review and The Future (Arlen House, 2018). Pocket Apocalypse, his translations of the Polish poet Katarzyna Borun-Jagodzinska, appeared in 2005 from Southword Editions. Murphy's own poems form the basis for a live poetry-and-music show by Crazy Dog Audio Theatre, entitled The People's Republic of Gerry Murphy, which ran at the Cork Guinness Jazz Festival in 2010 to considerable critical success. REVIEW EXCERPT "Murphy's voice is salacious, funny, pithy, angry-making, often verging on the side-of-the-mouth and, dare one add, tender... This is a worthwhile book, energetic and wise." — Fred Johnston, Poetry Ireland Review