Nailing up the Home Sweet Home
Cleveland State Poetry Center, 1980
What a splendid first book! Jeanne Murray Walker's poems ring true and wild as currents of wind inside a storm cloud. They never fail in their allegiance to the life of complex feelings inside her and inside us.
Walker does not employ the comfortably plain speech but something trickier, something more nearly the music of verse, though it has a certain tartness that keeps you off balance, harpsichord rather than piano. Her tone is generally elegiac and she teases out instead of stating the emotion. She likes to play the hovering phrase against the forwardness of sentences. . . . This book has the compulsiveness of fiction which makes us want to turn the page, for which we submit ourselves to the rise and fall of the largest emotional rhythms.
American Poetry Review
Ms. Walker's is actually a tough and highly realistic poetry. She is wise to history, horsetrading, sports, and sex.
The Hudson Review
Dragon Gate Press, 1985
Fugitive Angels cunningly recalls, like a mother reminding children it is time to eat, the creeds by which we pretend we live. These creeds are set against more acceptable fictions, and more acceptable rationalism. The fine line between the two is the space in which Walker locates her work. She traverses the geographical, emotional and spiritual boundaries of the power of faith, and the disillusionment of empty fiction. These poems fit. They bend and flex. They are funny, punning, and clear-headed.
The Women's Review of Books
Jeanne Murray Walker's second book is long, substantial, energetic. She is both story-teller and metaphysician. The best of these poems have the plain radiance of Walker Evans photographs.
Washington Post Book World
Coming Into History
Cleveland State Poetry Center, 1990
What an exhilarating book this is, full of passions and wit. Any reader who thinks nothing more can be said about birth and a child's new life has a stunning surprise coming. Jeanne Murray Walker's poems connect us with our past and our future; they shower us with the riches of the world, and I know of no one who loves the world more than she does.
With Coming into History Jeanne Murray Walker takes her place among the best poets of her generation. Her fecund and generous imagination embraces the commonplace and the bizarre with empathy and dramatic power. Her poems on being a descendant whose own child comes into history reveal the rich inner nature of woman's experience and inscribe it with amplitude of feeling.
Coming into History looks like as profound and original a book as we are likely to see for many a season.
-- John Frederick Nims
Stranger than Fiction
Quarterly Review of Literature, 1992
Jeanne's poems triangulate between the cosmic and the domestic. She pairs astronomy and motherhood, Sunday school and the history of western thought. With fluid, commonsensical language, she awakens in her reader a sense of wonder and delight at the fullness of the world."
Shadow and Light: Literature and the Life of Faith
Edited by Darryl Tippens, Stephen Weathers, and Jeanne Murray Walker, Abilene Christian University Press, 2005
This anthology of literature from 1300-2005 includes essays, fiction, poetry, and drama, primarily from the Christian tradition, but from other religious traditions as well. In it appear such writers as John Donne, John Henry Newman, Thomas Merton, Frederick Douglas, Nathaniel Hawthorn, Leo Tolstoy, Willa Cather, Alice Munro, Alice Walker, T. S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, and Czeslaw Milosz. The book offers a breadth of ethnic diversity and reclaims some brilliant work which has been out of print for many years.
The third edition will be published in 2011.
Thanks to this new edition of Shadow and Light, the literature of faith is back on the playing field.
Shadow & Light is now the stand-out, single-volume faith and literature text.
--Image Update, January 2006