A happy moment with our old pal, Owen.…
At 34 years old, a nice man missed a red-light and everything about Murray Dunlap’s life changed. More than a decade later, he lives every day with a Traumatic Brain Injury. At the time of his wreck, Murray was a married writer about to start a new career as an English teacher. His marriage could not survive the confusion and amnesia. When asked, he did not know he was married. After three months in a coma, a year in a wheelchair, learning to walk again, and more doctors and therapy than he can remember, he is living a successful life with a TBI and has married an Episcopal priest.
Murray is an artist, writer, photographer, and motivational speaker (having spoken at venues including Duke University).
He adds, “I may be disabled, but I am very blessed.”
Resource Publications is an independent publishing company in Oregon who published A Beautiful Catastrophe in late March of 2020. They say, “Without agenda, we are shamelessly unapologetic about what we like: relationships, good beer, fine books, and enough coffee to keep us moving.”
“The wreck was certainly catastrophic, but where it led me is nothing but beautiful. I dedicate this book to anyone who endures a traumatic brain injury. After it is all said and done, this book should prove that there is hope.”Michael Knight, (author of At Briarwood School for Girls) says, “Blending dreamy abstractions and precise language, prose and poetry, tragedy and triumph, faith and love and loss, A Beautiful Catastrophe is not an easy book to quantify though it’s plenty easy to admire. What heart it took to write these words and what courage! Murray Dunlap is an inspiration.”
Sage D. Chase (counselor extraordinaire) says, “The best thing about this book is your ability to not only accept, but celebrate, the changes that have been forced upon you!”
Hiram Larew, (author of Undone) says, “There’s the fascinating push-through perseverance and resilience of each and every piece. His work is all about forced discovery. So much poetry is written from places of pain, harm, and sorrow. As a result of suffering a brain injury, Dunlap explores such depths. But his work rises.“
Susan W. says, “The poems are very meaningful and real. It is amazing to me how your trauma is presented so calmly on paper. That takes an extraordinary writer; an extraordinary person. It shows what a grateful heart can do. No doubt, God had better things planned for you and refused to take you from us. You seem to be doing a beautiful job discovering those plans.”
Diane W. says, “I can hardly close this book once opening it. The poems are so beautiful, meaningful, spiritual….and more.”
Pia Pearce says, “So grateful and pleased to have your beautiful poetry to enjoy… your message to Ed at the end is profound. You have TRIUMPHED and I can’t tell you how happy this makes me and what an inspiration you are and will continue to be for so many in the weeks, months, and years ahead!”
Proof is available with The Country Bookshop Boomer Press: please order here !
Yes, I survived the impossible. But no, I did not do it alone. With God’s grace and the unstoppable love of my wife, I have created a rewarding life from one that had burned to the ground. Thank you, Mary Balfour, for your beautiful heart. This book is for you.
“Pure, without artifice, Proof gives testimony to the resilience of spirit. To read Murray Dunlap’s poetry is to bear witness to the Divine endurance of talent.” –Katrina Denza, Director, Visiting Writers Program, Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities
An Episcopal priest, the Rev. Greg Farrand says, “Dunlap’s poetry leads us through the unvarnished reality of human powerlessness and pain to honest spirituality, an optimistic realism born of suffering and faith. His grit inspires the weary heart to rediscover light and hope. His words are the perfect companion for anyone committed to walking the journey with eyes wide open.”
Dr. Fred Ashe says, “These poems–both the story they tell and the simple miraculous fact of their existence–should inspire every reader to do as Murray has done: to defy depression; to seek out a soulmate; to re-discover God.”
Michael Knight says, “I have seen many of the changes wrought in Murray, the way the accident shattered his body and the way he battled to be whole again, the way his rage at being broken morphed into a kind of peace and abiding faith and a new way of understanding what it means to be alive.”
Dunlap’s first book, Bastard Blue:
“Forged with a poet’s attention to cadence and rhythm, a storyteller’s devotion to character, and tension that just keeps ratcheting up, Bastard Blue is finally a love story, between a young man and the place that made him, the southern culture that proves to be both a blessing and a curse. Murray Dunlap is a brave writer, and an honest one; the lives he portrays here are as heart-stoppingly authentic as his prose is dazzlingly beautiful. He serves up everything I want in a story: compassion, humor, substance and style.”
Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness
“Yes, Bastard Blue is a first book but there’s more than promise on display within its pages. This collection introduces us to a fully realized talent. Murray Dunlap’s voice is confident, his characters richly drawn, his sense of place as vivid as you will find in fiction. Sentence for sentence his prose is crisp and direct, edged somehow with both menace and hope. He has a knack for creeping up to sentiment in his stories without crossing the line, leaving only genuine, well-earned emotion on the page. This book is so fine somebody should offer a money back guarantee.”
Michael Knight, author of The Typist
“If possible, read Murray Dunlap’s Bastard Blue in a Louis XV style chair, near a subtle fire, or in an Adirondack chair, between peach and dogwood trees. Reading his stories is about as close to having a storyteller there—present, in the room–as I know. This collection is full of heart, mischief, and sly winks. What a grand triumph.”
George Singleton, author of The Half-Mammals of Dixie
Photograph by Dunlap at Grand Canyon National Park
Dunlap on Amazon
murraydunlap (at) gmail (dot) com…………………..
“He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Psalm 107:29… Our lives, while mostly stable, do encounter storms. We stop, listen, and the hair might rise on the back of our necks. Presidents, pandemics, or any number of problems could exemplify this sound. Our ears will tingle in anticipation of what is to come, from whatever direction, in any number of forms. It will begin with a flash of light -quickly followed with the rumbling we all know. Watch for the lightening, listen for thunder, but do remember -the storm will pass. The air will lighten. The waters will clear. …
Things may appear destroyed, but please know this too shall pass.… ,