My Body the Guitar is Here! And It’s Been Nominated for the National Book Award!

My Body the Guitar is my new poetry book inspired by guitars, guitarists, and their music, published in December 2021 from Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series, a press in Rochester, NY, USA. And I’m happy to report that it’s been nominated for the National Book Award!

In “Part I, Mere Mortal,” you can follow my learning curve in poems largely spoken to my guitar in a series of “Études.” In “Part II, Local Heroes,” I honor the master guitarists in my inner circle: teachers, lovers, friends, online git pals, glancing encounters, and my deceased brother. In “Part III, “Great Gods,” you’ll encounter my idiosyncratic pantheon of immortals, from Jimi Hendrix to Joni Mitchell, Stevie Ray Vaughn to Mark Knopfler, Warren Zevon to Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt to Robert Johnson and so many more.

See the My Body the Guitar book page for more details, including how to order your copy!

If you want to hear the poems, take a break and view my latest reading from My Body the Guitar. Join me with Just Poets of Greater Rochester:

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And stay tuned for my next reading!

book jacket image for My Body the Guitar

I’ve known Karla Linn Merrifield’s always-surprising writing for decades. She is a passionate and romantic poet, but knows how tragic our lives can be, and knows that we’re at an ecological tipping point. Her voice can be austere as she “wields” her poems, and can be tender and understanding as we face our common fears. She is an indefatigable world- and word-traveler who helps us to hope.

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~William Heyen, romantic poet and author of 40 books, National Book Award finalist

Romantic Poetry

Welcome to my website and blog, The Muses’ Refugia, which you can reach with a quick click on the link above. Please sign up to receive updates when new posts appear on the blog!

There’s lots more here to inform and entertain. In “Ready to Read” you’ll find links to my latest online poetry publications and interviews. In “Books,” I invite you to browse my published books; these pages provide you with book descriptions and where to order your copies.

Within “Music Muse,” you can click on links to watch my series of podcast episodes, My Body the Guitar, created in collaboration with British guitarist Paul Garthwaite. Each podcast episode features a poem from my book by the same title, which will be released in December from the Rochester-based publisher, Before Your Quiet Eyes Holograph Series. During the episodes, I read a poem from the book focused on a famous guitarist and the duo discuss it and its featured “guitar god,” while Paul weaves in demonstrations of the musician’s distinctive style. And, while you’re exploring “Music Muse,” you’ll find a glittering gallery of photographs of guitars in all their amazing variety.

I also hope you’ll spend some time scrolling through the dozens of photographs in “Gallery” — you might just find your face among them. Of course, for more about me, see “About!”

I look forward to hearing from you.




Music Muse