The poetic canvas of Pearl is as vast as the poet's extensive learning. The thrust of the book is a series of achingly poignant poems about the poet's early life in California. Gifted with a prodigious memory for detail
and an expansive heart, Murphy probes a litany of seminal life events including rebelliousness, drug and alcohol abuse, friendship, intellectual inquisitiveness, creativity, suicide, loss, and human sensuality, and he
does so with extraordinary emotional honesty and courage. The stinging "bite" of these poems will remain with the reader long after the poems are read.
-Larry D. Thomas is a Member, Texas Institute of Letters and the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate