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Episode 7: Abby E. Murray’s Snack Pack PhD Regalia

Prickly Pear Podcast Episode 7: Abby E. Murray’s Snack Pack PhD Regalia

That’s right, Blue Cactus Press snagged an interview with Abby E. Murray, award-winning author, educator, and the 2019 – 2021 Tacoma poet laureate! Abby joined us earlier this spring for a delightfully weird conversation about expensive-AF writing retreats, juggling balls and spinning plates, and figuring out how many snacks one can fit into their PhD regalia (spoiler alert: approximately 8-9 snacks, unless one is lumpy, in which case one can fit many, many more snacks).

More importantly, we chatted about Abby’s incredible, community-centered work at The Selma R Carson Home, where she holds writing workshops for undocumented and unaccompanied boys, and her role at Collateral, a literary journal showcasing creative writing and art exploring the impact of violent conflict and military service beyond the combat zone.

*Learn more about Abby and her subversive plans as Tacoma’s new poetry queen (note: we need no kings) here, or visit the Tacoma Poet Laureate webpage.


Abby E. Murray is the 2019-2021 poet laureate for the city of Tacoma, Washington. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Abby has moved around the country and taught writing in Colorado, Georgia, Alaska, New York and Washington. Her first book, Hail and Farewell, won the 2019 Perugia Press Poetry Prize and was released in September 2019. Previous chapbooks include How to Be Married after Iraq (Finishing Line Press, 2018), Quick Draw: Poems from a Soldier’s Wife (Finishing Line Press, 2012) and Me and Coyote (Lost Horse Books, 2010).

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Episode 2: Kellie Richardson on the Mic

Prickly Pear Podcast Episode 2: Kellie Richardson on the Mic

Featuring Tacoma Poet Laureate, educator, writer and collage artist Kellie Richardson. Kellie is also the badass creator and blogger of Brown Betty and author of What Us Is. In this episode, Kellie Richardson talks about her artistry and explains the importance of bringing your true self to the stage. And yeah, we gripe about changing neighborhoods and community dynamics in Tacoma, too … doesn’t everyone?