Erin C. Murphy

Professor, English
Promotion and Tenure Coordinator, Academic Affairs
Hawthorn Building, 212

Erin Murphy, professor of English, is the author or editor of fourteen books, chapbooks, and anthologies. She serves as Poet Laureate of Blair County (PA) and Poetry Editor of The Summerset Review. She has received the Athleen J. Stere Teaching Award, the Grace D. Long Faculty Excellence Award, and the University-wide Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching. For 2023-25, she was named the inaugural BTTA Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow for Penn State University.

Murphy’s nine collections of poetry include Human Resources (forthcoming from Salmon Poetry); Taxonomies (2022) Assisted Living, winner of the Brick Road Poetry Press Prize (2018); Ancilla (2014), winner of the Womack Book Award; Distant Glitter (2013), a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award in Poetry; Word Problems (2011), winner of the Paterson Prize for Literary Excellence; Dislocation and Other Theories (2008), winner of the Paterson Prize for Literary Excellence; Too Much of This World (2008), winner of the Anthony Piccione Poetry Prize; and Science of Desire (2004), a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize for the best poetry book of 2004. She has also authored two chapbooks: Fields of Ache (2023), available for a free download from Ghost City Press, and Remorse Code (2017), winner of the Keystone Chapbook Series competition sponsored by Seven Kitchens Press.

She has edited three anthologies on narrative medicine, creative nonfiction, and poetry. With Dinty W. Moore and Renée K. Nicholson, she edited Bodies of Truth: Personal Narratives on Illness, Disability, and Medicine (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), an anthology of narrative medicine essays which won the Gold Medal in the anthology category of the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards; with Jen Hirt, she edited Creating Nonfiction: Twenty Essays and Interviews with the Writers (State University of New York Press, 2016), which also won the Gold Medal in the anthology category of the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards; and with Todd Davis, she edited Making Poems: Forty Poems with Commentary by the Poets (State University of New York Press, 2010).

Her awards include the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, the Rattle Poetry Prize Readers’ Choice Award, a Best of the Net Award, the Foley Poetry Award, the National Writers' Union Poetry Award judged by Donald Hall, The Normal School Poetry Prize judged by Nick Flynn, the WISE Women Tribute Award in Arts & Letters, induction into the Blair County Arts Hall of Fame, and fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Institute for Arts and Humanities.

Her work has been featured on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac, and her poems and creative nonfiction essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Ecotone, The Georgia Review, Brevity (and The Best of Brevity), Women’s Studies Quarterly, EcoTheo Review, Waxwing, subtropics, North American Review, Southern Indiana Review, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, edited by Billy Collins (Random House), and The Art of Losing, edited by Kevin Young (Bloomsbury).

Murphy earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a philosophy minor from Washington College and her Master of Fine Arts degree in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she was an M.F.A. Fellow and wrote her thesis under the direction of James Tate.

  • Poetry
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Memoir
  • Medical Humanities
  • Creative Writing Pedagogy
  • Narrative Leadership