Celebrate poetry at Friends of Dos Madres fundraiser

Friday, May 19, 7-10 p.m., BonBonerie Cafe

Poetry lovers are invited to join the Friends of Dos Madres Press for an evening of food, drinks, poetry and fellowship in celebration of 10 years of publishing.

Writers, readers and listeners of poetry should enjoy this pairing of words and food to benefit Dos Madres Press and the launch of its new anthology, “Realms of The Mothers: The First Decade of Dos Madres.” The collection gathers poems from every book published by Dos Madres Press from 2004 to 2014.

Tickets are $60.


Robert Murphy and Elizabeth Hughes Murphy

Elizabeth Hughes Murphy and Robert Murphy


A small labor of love expands its reach

Contributed by Pauletta Hansel

Pauletta Hansel and Richard Hague

Pauletta Hansel and Richard Hague

Locally based Dos Madres Press is a small poetry press with a large reach – and the desire to touch even more.

The press began as a labor of love for editor Robert Murphy and designer Elizabeth Hughes Murphy. They founded it in 2004 with the help of their two mothers, Vera Murphy and Libbie Hughes – the press’s “dos madres.”

Since then, Dos Madres has published 136 titles by 85 authors scattered across the United States and around the world. (The largest single group is still centered in southwest Ohio, home to the Loveland-dwelling Murphys.)

Over the years, Robert Murphy has used a quote from the William Carlos Williams poem “Asphodel, that Greeny Flower” as his touchstone: “It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”

Murphy says he looks for poetry “that is rich in music and yet concise and controlled, yet full of surprise. A language that is not reluctant to be given over to the reader, who in effect in rereading rewrites it for him or herself, making it their own, thus extending one’s knowledge of the world and oneself.”

In 2016, Dos Madres published “Realms of the Mothers: The First Decade of Dos Madres Press,” featuring writing from 95 books and 68 poets.

Dos Madres received support for the project from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsWave, its first grant funding.

The anthology was edited by longtime Dos Madres poet Richard Hague. He says it’s not possible to generalize about the poets, beyond claiming their universal mastery of craft.

“Beyond that, the diversity of theme, subject, form, diction, and speaker echoes what I, a former collector of beetles, loved about the insect order Coleoptera: a tremendous range of size, structure, color, habitat, life cycle … ‘Realms of the Mothers’ shows in the domain of poetry a rapturous fondness for, and extensive expression of, a similarly multifarious creation.”

The goal of the “Realms of the Mothers” project is to extend the press’s reach. Since its publication, Dos Madres has presented eight readings and three workshops with five more events planned. Four readings were in the New York City area, with another New York event and a Cleveland workshop/reading still to go.

Leave a Reply