Dave Morrison - Poet

"A hearty weed in the garden of American poetry."

                                   Bio and Blurbs

Born near Boston Dave Morrison is a writer of novels, short stories, poetry, and many notes on scraps of paper.  After years of playing guitar in rock & roll bars in Boston (the Trademarks and True Blue) and NYC (the Juke Savages), he currently resides in coastal Maine.  Dave's poetry and short stories have been published in FRiGG, Thieves Jargon, Rattle,Void, Rumble, Mad Hatters Review, Juked, Laura Hird, Psychopoetica and other fine magazines, and three collections of poetry and two novels have been published by JukeBooks.  You can e-visit at www.dave--morrison.com


Hailed as 'A hearty weed in the garden of American poetry' Dave Morrison's work has been widely published in literary magazines and anthologies, and regularly featured on the Have Poems Will Travel radio program.  With Sliver, his third book of poetry Morrison continues to describe his world with a photographer's eye and a pickpocket's touch, delivering poems packed with mischief, heartache and bruised optimism.  (JukeBooks 2008)


"Morrison's readings are much akin to performances; his presentations are dramatic and lyrical and betray his years as a rock-and-roll musician."  (Ken Gross Camden Public Library)

"Let me state up front that I’m crazy about Dave Morrison’s poetry and have been for quite a while.

There is no voice quite like his.   What shines in every poem is musical sound and rhythm, grittiness, reality, humor, and the rare ability to tackle serious subjects without taking himself too seriously.  There is a wonderful, refreshing lack of pretentiousness and self-pity in all his poems

and books."   (Alice Persons, Editor and Publisher, Moon Pie Press)


"There is an embrace of joy I found surprising. The past still breeds regrets in many of these poems, but the present and future seem to be taking Morrison a bit by surprise by occasionally being fueled not by anger, but by something he refers to more than once as holy. It’s good stuff."  (Dagney Ernest – Courier Publications)


"Poems that act like people we recognize- poetry that's counting its' tips and cutting in the busboy after last call . . . walking home alone on the tracks whistling in the dark . . . trashing the dressing room on closing night . . . sneaking sharp objects into the locked unit. . . So, Morrison's writing is a humorous friend sharing his take evenly and fairly, moving with lonesome bravado, showing off some questionable behavior and shamelessly breaking rules for the sane and their custodians. This collection rocks!" (Kathy Polenberg, author of I'm Your Field Trip and NJ Yellowed Pages)


"So there's obviously no f**king with Dave Morrison's writing…read [it] by
while drinking straight from the bottle, the radio playing softly in the corner." (Matt DiGangi, Editor Thieves Jargon)


"A tidal wave of outrageous creativity; a wild rift of lines 
that leave you out of breath, 
fascinated, manipulated, articulated. Watch out!"
(Elizabeth Garber, author of Pierced by the Seasons and Listening Inside the Dance) 
"...like Mary Oliver with a leather jacket and a 
sense of humor."   
 (Sharon Mesmer author of HALF ANGEL, HALF LUNCH 

"Dave is a rare animal among poets. When you witness him reading his
work, you see how his years onstage as a rocker have given him some
unique skills that most poets lack. Needing to keep bar / club audiences
entertained and engaged while sometimes being the target of drunken
abuse and the occasional thrown bottle have made him a wiley, energetic
and sometimes puckish bard.
He is the only poet I know who can pack a house."
(Joseph Barber - Owl & Turtle Bookshop)


Morrison's Poetry Lives Up To Its Name

by Dagney C. Ernest

Courier Publications  


  "Sweet," Dave Morrison's first book of poetry, is well titled. Though it takes

its name and cover imagery from a rather disconcerting poem within, I mean

the word in the popular slang usage as something really fine and welcome.

The week I worked my way through the paperback, I was reading selections

aloud to friends and colleagues, enjoying their reactions to the many poems

I found compelling.
 Morrison, a familiar face to those who took in last spring's People's Poetry

Project gatherings will introduce his book and read from it 6:30 p.m. Tuesday,

Sept. 12, at the downtown Camden Public Library. His background includes

years as a New England rock singer/songwriter, as well as creative writing

studies at New York City's New School University. While "Sweet" is his first

book of poetry, he has had poems, short stories and a novella published in

literary magazines.
   The performer and writer synch in many of these poems and not just via

subject matter. I'm told Morrison falls into the performance poet category at

readings and many of these poems seem geared towards that.

"My 2 minutes are up" tracks a racing mind, one seeped in music and other

forms of popular culture, while "When I go" depicts a mind racing to all the

wrong conclusions. The latter is harrowing, while the former provokes laughter,

but both ring true.
   Close observations and boisterous energy abound in "Sweet," from a

skewering of joke-telling clichés to the experience of sitting through a

mediocre play to "Filling Out the Poets and Writers Directory Form." The

latter is one of several poems that address the writing of poetry itself; my

favorite is "Good day." This poem uses a device Morrison employs in several

selections, a repeating line at the end of each of every few staves. In general,

I found that a little pat, although Morrison gives it a final twist at the end

of "Gone."
   Maybe the repetition rubs me the wrong way because so many of the

poems have a forward-driven momentum that really grabs and takes the

reader along for what is often a humorous ride, albeit with a cutting edge. A

blurb on the jacket calls Morrison's work "like Mary Oliver with a leather

jacket." I'll buy that. I also bought the poems that left humor aside. I

particularly like "learning to grieve," which subtly uses drowning as a

metaphor for a process that often feels just like that.
   Other poems include fine images that I turned back to savor again after

reading to the end. "Snow 10:30 am" ends by describing its subject

as "a/criss-crossing shower of/cold clean/dust." "October 1" begins with: "my

favorite jack-o-lantern/is my own fingers/cupped to light a cigarette." Smoking

is a regular player in "Sweet," as is love and music and insecurity about the

future and memories of the past, especially a coveted '69 Camaro.
   Two poems are the epitome of the "what if" writing exercise: "Award" and

"looking out to sea" both take their conceits and run away with them to

ridiculous, yet curiously intriguing places. "Cain" is an eight-part exploration

of the biblical murder story that takes its cues from the love/hate bond of

brothers. Morrison seems up for trying all kinds of things when he writes

and even when he doesn't think he

can. In "Failed Poem," he finds himself with "No rhymes, no rules, no rhythm;

nothing more than tiny sparks on/wet wires./All I can say with any/honesty is

that it is/Saturday night and I am/hungry."
   If you're hungry for honest poetry, "Sweet" will fill you up. The book is

available at local book stores and online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble

and publisher lulu.com.