Hannah Carr-Murphy is a poet, musician, and teacher from Black Hawk County, Iowa. She is currently pursuing a PhD in English with creative dissertation at SUNY Binghamton, with the expected graduation date of May 2024. Her educational background includes a Bachelor in Music and Bachelor of Arts from University of Northern Iowa (2016), as well as a MA in Community Music from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance within the University of Limerick (2018). Her master’s research was a combined qualitative and quantitative study examining the participation rates of girls in high school jazz bands in Iowa. Her research interests as a PhD student include creative writing pedagogy and community outreach, American opera libretto from the mid-2oth century to now, and Catholic American writers, particularly women religious poets.
During her undergraduate schooling, Hannah studied flute with Dr. Angeleita S. Floyd, winner of the NFA Distinguished Service Award, and Dr. Nicole Molumby, Professor of Flute at Boise State University. Hannah also performed in masterclasses on the piccolo with composers Lowell Liebermann and Blaž Pucihar. Other musical activities include winning the 2012 Karl L. King Solo Competition with her performance of Vivaldi’s concerto RV 443 on piccolo. Hannah toured 2009-2010 with Celebration Iowa as a singer/dancer and performed locally in municipal bands throughout her undergraduate career. While in Ireland, she played as a pit musician for local theater and sang backup for Limerick-based songwriting performer Emma Langford, winner of the 2018 RTÉ Best Emerging Folk Artist Award. In her time as a PhD student in Binghamton she has participated in the university’s flute ensemble, under the direction of Jeanne Sperber, eventually rising to the position of assistant conductor in the group. Hannah’s scholarly interests continue to intersect with her love of and expertise in music, in her successful writing course “Lyrics as Poetry,” her interdisciplinary conference papers, and her special interest in American opera libretto of the 20th century to today.
Hannah’s first chapbook was published by Quick & Dirty Press in October 2015. Her poetry has also appeared in Common Ground Review, Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, and Adanna as well as undergraduate journals Albion Review, inner weather, and The Quaker. Her poem “Verses for my Ex-Girlfriend” appeared in the anthology Exs by Final Thursday Press. Hannah’s poem “Scivias” can be found in Sean Thomas Dougherty’s Double Kiss: Contemporary Poets on the Art of Billiards, an anthology from Mammoth Books. More recently, her poem about Gabriele Fallopio was included in Alternating Current’s anthology of poems on scientists: Spectral Lines.
At North American Review, Hannah worked as editorial assistant and production coordinator on the literary magazine and as interior text layout designer for NAR Press. In the summer of 2015, she worked on the editorial team for sparkhouse, an imprint of Augsburg Fortress Publishing (now 1517 media). During her graduate study in Community Music, Hannah was Design Editor for University of Limerick’s student newspaper An Focal, which was shortlisted in the category of Layout/Design for 2017’s SMEDIAs. Her expertise in publishing has also led her to the corner office of Harpur Palate, Binghamton University’s student-led literary magazine. Since becoming involved with the magazine in 2021, Hannah has worked to design and implement a class for undergraduate students to learn about publishing using the magazine as a learning lab. In the fall of 2023, the class was finally offered for the first time, and has been picked up as a permanent course by the university. Her final contribution to the magazine is the creation of an open-access, complete digital archive of Harpur Palate’s 20+ years of back issues (completion of the archive expected spring 2024).
Since losing her father to brain cancer in 2018, she has become an advocate for the brain tumor community and a fundraiser for Head for the Cure. In 2019, Hannah was the top individual fundraiser and served as captain of the top fundraising team for Head for the Cure’s Des Moines 5k fundraising event. For 2020, her team was also the top fundraising team in the region. Collectively, Hannah’s friends and family have raised over $10,000 for brain cancer research.