i.m. Al Alvarez, born 5 August 1929, died 23 September 2019

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Al Alvarez, whose New & Selected Poems (2002) was one of Waywiser’s earliest publications. Al, who was born ninety years ago, in 1929,  was that increasingly rare thing, an all-round man of letters — not just a poet, but a critic, memoirist, writer of non-fiction, and journalist. He was also a man in love with risk, as his exploits as rock-climber and poker-player amply attested.

A well-rounded appreciation is to be found in John Sutherland’s obituary for The Guardian, which can be read at:


14th Annual Hecht Poetry Prize – Closed


The December 1st deadline for the fourteenth Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize has now passed, and the judging process is underway. The contest’s results will be posted on the press’s website – at The Waywiser Press – in March 2019.

This portal will re-open for submissions to the 15th Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize on August 1st 2019.

Clive Watkins wins the 2018 Robert Graves Poetry Prize

The Waywiser Press is pleased to announce that Clive Watkins, author of Jigsaw (2003) and Already the Flames (2014), has won the 2018 Robert Graves Poetry Prize for his poem Mirror, Mirror. The prize of £1000 is offered by the Roehampton Poetry Centre, Roehampton University, London, in conjunction with the Wimbledon Bookfest to honour the poet, novelist and critic, Robert Graves. The judges were the poet David Harsent and the literary agent Peter Straus. They commented that Mirror, Mirror was marked out by its sure touch with image and its controlled narrative tension. It will appear in the near future in Roehampton Poetry Centre’s magazine, Poem. (Another of Clive’s poems was also included in the short-list.) The official announcement can be found at: Robert Graves Poetry Prize, 2018

Book publication — March 15 2019

March 15, 2019:

— UK Publication of Christopher Cessac’s Hecht-Prize winning The Youngest Ocean

— UK publication of Pulitzer Prize finalist Morri Creech’s Blue Rooms

Book publication — October 15, 2018

October 15, 2018:

— US Publication of Christopher Cessac’s Hecht Prize-winning The Youngest Ocean

— US publication of Pulitzer Prize finalist Morri Creech’s Blue Rooms

Book publication — June 15, 2018

June 15, 2018:

— UK Publication of editors Daniel Groves and Greg Williamson’s Jiggery-Pokery Semicentennial

— UK Publication of editor Philip Hoy’s A Bountiful Harvest: The Correspondence of Anthony Hecht and William L. MacDonald

Book publication — March 15, 2018

March 15, 2018:

— US publication of editors Daniel Groves and Greg Williamson’s Jiggery-Pokery Semicentennial

— US publication of editor Philip Hoy’s A Bountiful Harvest: The Correspondence of Anthony Hecht and William L. MacDonald

Mike White’s Addendum to a Miracle a finalist for the 15 Bytes Book Award

Mike White’s Addendum to a Miracle, which won the 12th Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, was one of three finalists for the 15 Bytes Book Award for Poetry. The judges’ citation for his collection reads as follows: The poems in Mike White’s Addendum to a Miracle explore complex notions of fatherhood, patriarchy, violence, and self with an understated yet sharp gaze. That gaze delineates thresholds of dark and light — the body pressing its “weight/ against the big revolving door,/tumbling into the sunny afternoon,/mildly stunned that it’s there.” Several of White’s poems are haikus or similar in their spareness that hides what is unspoken. The words create silhouettes on a page and lines range from ethereal to corporeal, from “in the shadows/of the ferris wheel/bright hints of deer” to “my son insists/I am a father/and he is a brown bear./It goes this way./He gets hungry/and by and by/I am chosen.” The poems’ images often rest on the cusp of invisibility and apparition. The endings of the poems are not static, but instead leave the reader at the entrance of an open door. Yet what do final lines open into? Both the existentialism of “white space” (a pun?) and “God’s/good eye/waiting out the rain.” These images that seem opposite give keys to reading the poems–presence and absence coinciding on a tightrope. For more information about the award, please go to 15 Bytes Award for Poetry

The awards ceremony, at which Mr White, his fellow finalist, and the eventual winner, will read from their collections, will be held at 19:00 on October 17th 2018 at The Printed Garden, 9445 S Union Sq, Ste A, Sandy, Utah 84070. Full details of the event can be found by going to The Printed Garden

i.m. Timothy Murphy

Timothy Murphy, poetIt was with great sadness that we learned of the death, on June 30, 2018, of Timothy Murphy, whose Very Far North was one of the two poetry collections with which Waywiser made its debut back in 2002. The following obituary appeared in the Fargo Forum shortly afterwards:

Timothy Iver Murphy

Timothy Iver Murphy, 67, of Fargo, ND passed away in his home on Saturday, June 30, 2018. Timothy was born in Hibbing, MN on January 10, 1951. He was raised in Moorhead, MN and attended the Campus School at MSUM. In high school, Tim was active in speech and debate and graduated from Moorhead High School in 1968 as president of his senior class. Tim was an Eagle Scout and member of The Order of the Arrow and worked summers at Camp Wilderness near Park Rapids, MN as a scout craft aide and a commissioner. He attended Yale University and pursued his interest in poetry, undertaking a tutorial with Robert Penn Warren. He was the first undergraduate to be published in The Yale Review in many years. He was named Scholar of the House in Poetry and graduated from Yale with a B.A. in 1972.

Tim then joined his father Vince in the life insurance, pension, and estate planning business, V R Murphy and Sons Inc. He won numerous national sales awards serving as an agent for Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. Tim’s entrepreneurial interests led to his raising equity capital for partnerships in a number of local companies; Timco Farms, Bell Farms, Orchard Glen Development, DakTech, and Bytespeed LLC.

Tim loved hiking, sailing, farming, and hunting with his black labs. All were inspiration for his poetry, which was his great passion in life. His work was recognized with publication in prominent journals, too numerous to name, including Poetry, Quadrant, Hudson Review, New Criterion and Gray’s Sporting Journal. His published books include: The Deed of Gift (1998), Set the Ploughshare Deep (1998), Very Far North (2002), Mortal Stakes; Faint Thunder (2011), Hunter’s Log (2011) and Devotions (2017). He collaborated on a translation of Beowulf (2004) with his long-time partner Alan Sullivan. His final book Last Poems is forthcoming from Dakota Institute Press.

Tim was predeceased by his father, Vincent R. Murphy and by his partner of more than thirty years, Alan Sullivan. He is survived by his mother, Katherine Bye Murphy of Fargo, ND; siblings, Claudia Murphy (John Rowell) Moorhead, MN, Ann Murphy (Mark Rosenzweig) Easton, PA, James Murphy (Meg Nei) Fargo, ND, Mary Murphy (Skip Jones) Minnetonka, MN, Molly Murphy (Greg Rigdon) Philadelphia, PA; nephews, Jesse Jones, Matthew Jones, Sean Gunner, Hugh Rigdon; and niece, Claire Rigdon.