Sweet Connections: Matthew Murrey

Each week we will be connecting with our contributors showing where they have been, where they are now, and what’s up for the future.

Name: Matthew Murrey
Title of Piece published in SweetSmoke
Issue:  9.3

Matthew MurreyFind him:


Matthew is the librarian at Urban High School in Urbana, Illinois.  We can’t imagine a more perfect day than being surrounded by books.  You can find out more about him on his website https://www.matthewmurrey.net/.


What are some major accomplishments you have had since your Sweet publication?

My biggest – which I’m still in disbelief over – is that Bulletproof, my first-book manuscript, was chosen this spring by Marilyn Nelson as the winner of Jacar Press’ full-length poetry manuscript competition.  It should be published by early 2019.  I had been trying to get a first-book published for over twenty years!

Can you tell us about a current/ongoing project that you’re excited about?

I spent the summer working on a second book manuscript, and I’ve started sending it out.  I’m expecting it to get accepted by 2038!

Who is your favorite author?

Right now,  Ada Limón.  I just read her latest, The Carrying.  Ask me next month and I’m sure it will be someone else.

What is your favorite poem/essay/book?

The best book I’ve read in the last 3 years was The Half Has Never Been Told by Edward E. Baptist. Cotton, slavery, capitalism, cruelty and greed – blew me away.

What inspires you to write?

The pleasure of finishing a poem where it feels like I somehow got it right and the happiness that comes when someone else enjoys it too.

What is your favorite sweet?

I’m still into my weekend waffles made at home and eaten with butter and honey.

Murrey ready to eat2

Thank you, Matthew, for taking the time to reconnect with us.  We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future! Hopefully before 2038!

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