Author Highlight--Christina Murphy PHOTO: Christina Murphy stands with her copy of The Great Gatsby Anthology by the statue of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1801-1835), on the campus of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. The statue is the center point of the main entrance to the University, and it is a beloved symbol of the University itself and of the community it has served since 1837. Huntington is a “land, water, and air” city, as it is open to travel and commerce via all three means. Huntington also has the distinction of being the largest inland port in America by tonnage. Christina contributed the poem “Ascend into Dreams” to the anthology.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON HER POEM: My creative process in writing “Ascend into Dreams” was an effort to imagine what a vision of the highest freedom of ascending into dreams would be like for a man of Jay Gatsby’s intense imagination and romantic sensibilities. I have always been mesmerized by the intensity of Gatsby’s imagination and ability to envision his own created and idealized world. And so I sought for this poem the types of images and conceptual frameworks that would best exemplify what the passion and the intensity of Gatsby’s vision of love would be like. That concept guided me through the drafts of this poem until I felt it captured the idea and ideal of Gatsby as the consummate dreamer for whom creating and sustaining his romantic vision became his life’s passion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christina Murphy is a poet and fiction writer originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has lived parts of her life in states whose names—Tennessee, Mississippi, and Connecticut—are variants of Native American words for “big river.” Now she lives in a 100-year-old house along the Ohio River, and “Ohio” is also a Native American word for “big river.” She senses a pattern here and attributes the stream of consciousness that runs through a number of her poems to her affiliation / connection with rivers. Her poetry appears in a range of journals and anthologies, including, PANK, Dali’s Lovechild, and Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, and the anthologies Let the Sea Find its Edges, From the Roaring Deep: A Devotional in Honor of Poseidon and the Spirits of the Sea, and Remaking Moby-Dick. Her work has been nominated multiple times for a Pushcart Prize and for the Best of the Net anthology. Christina invites and appreciates readers’ comments on her work, and she can be reached @ChristinaMurph1 on Twitter.