What We’re Left With

By (author): Ben Murray

The poems in Ben Murray’ s debut collection, What We’ re Left With, reflect on disconnection as a feature of contemporary urban experience. Murray’ s poems tackle themes of isolation, loneliness and human separation from nature. Murray creates trademark images of surprising loneliness and suburban angst: sog-white mornings/ of caffeinated mouths/ mating Cheerios/ O to empty O. The poet longs for mall-free days of sprawling languid under a pre-cancerous sun when we hurry up/ and wait, to become men. Writing about climate change, the poet asks how long until hibernating bears/ shake November from their sleep-under fur/ and start snorting around for off-season/ bargains. Capable of many different registers, Murray writes, in assumed voices, of grief and memory beyond his own immediate experience, something he describes as tapping into some larger collective autobiography.


Ben Murray

Ben Murray’ s poetry has appeared in a wide variety of journals including Descant, Event, Prairie Fire, Contemporary Verse 2, and the Windsor Review, and has been widely anthologized. The title poem for this collection won the Contemporary Verse 2 Poetry Award in 2001. His work has been broadcast on CBC radio, and he is a winner of the Canadian Poetry Association Award for Poetry, the Petra Kenney International Poetry Prize, and the 12th Annual Hope Writers Guild Award. This is his first full-length collection of poems.


“Murray illustrates the validity of more than his own perspective, and draws us in with his exploration of stark and sometimes painful elements of this existence we seem hell bent on moving through at breakneck speed.”


There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
There are no other resources for this book.

Reader Reviews



96 Pages


June 01, 2010


Brindle & Glass



Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

Featured In:

All Books



Other Titles by Ben Murray

No other books found.

Related Blog Posts

There are no posts with this book.