The Rush to Here is a rush to everywhere. Form, not theme, is what defines Murray's fourth book of poetry, which consists entirely of modified sonnets, where every poem is recognizably a variation of this traditional poetic form
... many of his line endings are inventive, hinting at notions that can never be realized, while also mirroring the everyday wanderings of our daydreams. Reading Murray engenders thoughts subtly mystical, feelings revolving around the wonder of imperfection.
--Ewan Whyte, The Globe and Mail
Murray's poems reflect his growing maturity and his interest in approaching writing as a profession and a craft. The Rush to Here -- his fourth collection -- features meditations on modern life rendered carefully in sonnet form, where echoes of Murray's past as a teenage stoner with a Mohawk emerge beneath the voice of the contemplative adult in lines like, "The crushed grass evidence of collusion: / the animals fuck themselves to bleeding."
--Damian Rogers, Eye Weekly
Murray captures the rhetorical shape of the sonnet while avoiding its traditional prosody. ... Murray has a powerful ability to synthesize disparate ideas within a poem. "A Silent Film," for example, moves from ancient triremes to silent films to contemporary storms and television. What might be messy in an open form is brilliantly contained in the traditional shape of the sonnet.
--Maurice Mireau, Winnipeg Free Press
Throughout George Murray's The Rush to Here, there are moments and images that many people can relate to, making it a great book for anyone to pick up for themselves or a friend ... 5 out of 5.
--Taryn Hubbard, JIVE Magazine
The "thought rhyme" is a fascinating concept, and one that provides limitless potential for poetic investigation. These are poems well worth reading.
--Mark Callanan, The Newfoundland Independent
[H]e gives us his strength, his endless process of working out "the how-not-why of these perfect heartbeats," his poetry of inquiry... There is a unique mind at work here ...
Though many of the poems are borne of the speaker's internal condition, they are never elusive or heady, as Murray moors his complex, often unanswered questions in evocative imagery ... the form of the sonnet lends cohesion to an astounding range of subject matter, as Murray moves from Greek mythology to urban paranoia to god and the secular world ... The expansive subject matter and intensity in Murray's discourse leave the reader in a reflective state, akin to the trance-like state one enters, having covered vast tracts of space, on a road trip. As with any good road trip, one finishes The Rush to Here affected in an inexplicable manner, even shaken, and all the better for it.
--Jakub Stachurski, Matrix Magazine
There's an irony at work here; instead of Shakespeare's triumphalist couplets announcing the immortality of poetry compared to life, we are faced with illusion and disillusion: scripts are endless but not like our lives, whose stories do finish. Each line is end-stopped, and Murray has set up readers for a concentrated series of explosions within the apparent constraints of a Renaissance form.
--Maurice Mierau, Contemporary Verse 2
At once recognizable as a great book, The Rush to Here effortlessly explores the sonnet in all of its permutations and is so neat in its execution, so Shakespearian in its lush authority that it sneaks up on a reader and takes him/her by the throat. There are quotable completely-full-of-themselves epigrams in each and every poem... This is supple, sure, intelligent swelling of incandescence abundance. What impresses is the magic of great poetry captured in one of the western hemisphere's millennia-long traditional forms, overleaping in one easy - for Murray - step one current retrograde neo-conservative stream in Canadian poetry that holds up structure as the only important consideration in poetry. The Rush to Here blows that movement completely apart even though it's not intending to. This guy is so smart so sparklingly clear in his poetic invocations that every line rings as clear as a glass tinged by a fingernail. You want the music to continue and continue in its arpeggio octaves.
--D.C. Reid, as judge for the Canadian Author's Association Poetry Prize
In an age when writers often produce works in the style of their own mentors, merely continuing an already established tradition, George Murray has created something new for poetry that others can add to their repertoires. He has, in a sense, inked his own stamp on form, which, if nothing else, embues poetry with a little more life and opens up realms of creativity for prospective poets.
--Stephen Rowe, Bellow the Spruce
Oh yes, this is one wonderful book.
--Andrew Vaisius, Prairie Fire Magazine
Murray does wonders here ... This collection stands as something of the missing link between the form's more stringent history and its present popularity as a rhetorical frame for philosophical free-versers.
The poems have such a maturity of vision ... that it's startling to note the author is still in his thirties. Children, God, Loss, Memories are evoked through sneakily thought-provoking questions and insights, as well as arresting final couplets.
--Crystal Hurdle, Canadian Literature
George Murray's three previous books of poetry include The Hunter (McClelland & Stewart, 2003) and The Cottage Builder's Letter (M&S, 2001). His poems, fiction and criticism have appeared in many publications in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and Europe. Murray won the 2003 New York Festivals Radio and Television Gold Medal for Best Writing for his broadcast poem "Anniversary: A Personal Inventory" and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is the editor and publisher of the popular literary website Bookninja.com and a contributing editor for several literary magazines, including Canadian Notes and Queries and The Drunken Boat. He lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.