Alabama's Public Liberal Arts University

Jim Murphy, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English

Ph.D. University of Cincinnati, 2000


Both the poetry writing and scholarship that I do are focused on American vernacular roots, with sources that run from jazz, blues, and rock 'n' roll, to film, to the visual arts. Coming South has been for me like tapping into the mother lode of Americana, and I'm constantly amazed and inspired by the profusion of cultural expression in Alabama and around the region, as I meet so many talented fellow travelers on these roads.


Poems of mine have appeared in The Southern Review, Southern Humanities Review, Brooklyn Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Fine Madness, The Alaska Quarterly Review, Puerto del Sol, and in other journals, as well as in The Memphis Sun (Kent State University Press, 2000).  My new poetry manuscript is making the rounds under the working title "Heaven Overland."


Scholarship includes writing on postmodern novelist Steve Erickson (Modern Fiction Studies), mid-20th Century American poet Robert Hayden (MELUS Journal) and contemporary Alabama poet Rodney Jones (Mississippi Quarterly).


Courses taught at UM include beginning and advanced creative writing workshops in poetry and prose, literature surveys of American poetry c. 1945-1970, and of the Literature of Northern California, a sophomore survey of literary undergrounds, and a capstone course focusing on literary relations between Self and State.


I also serve as Director of the Montevallo Literary Festival, held on campus each spring, and, with Jake Adam York, as co-editor of Thicket, an online journal devoted to Alabama writing (


Office: 200A Comer Hall

Office tel.: 205.665.6416

Office fax: 205.665.6422