English alumna Nina Murray's poetry collection, Alcestis in the Underworld, will be published by Circling Rivers in Spring 2019. The title is drawn from the Greek myth of Queen Alcestis: "Alcestis takes the place of her husband, King Admetus, in the underworld, so that he may continue to rule the living. She eventually returns to the land of the living. She and her family — presumably — live happily ever after. But Alcestis has seen and learned things no one else has known."
I had been
and thus returned a different figure
no longer fit into what had been
so solidly framed out — but no one
raised the roofbeam....
Alcestis in the Underworld articulates Murray's own radically foreign experience of civic duty: her life in Moscow as a U.S. diplomat, after growing up in then-USSR Ukraine.
Nina Murray is a poet, translator, and member of the U.S. diplomatic corps, and author of the chapbook, Minimize Considered (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Her translations from Russian and Ukrainian include Peter Aleshkovsky's Stargorod and Oksana Zabuzhko's award-winning The Museum of Abandoned Secrets. She received her M.A. in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2006.