Escape Into Life’s Kathleen Kirk included Joe Wilkins’ collection Killing the Murnion Dogs in her year-end review, and writes “Reading Wilkins, I had an experience very like the one he reports in this excerpt from “Daybreak, Spokane, September 2001,” about reading the poet James Wright:
I dream winter—wind leaning hard
down the mountains, blown snow
and ice—reading James Wright
for the first time.
How sad and lovely,
because in his poems everything and everyone
was always dying,
yet looking up from the page
I had never before wanted so wholly to live.