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ICE HOURS named winner of Michigan State University's
Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize             
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Wheelbarrow Books
ISBN: 978-1-61186-449-6

"Marion Boyer’s Ice Hours is mesmerizing and haunting. At its core is the question, what motivates people to want to be a part of something whose success seems impossible? This is acknowledged even in the recruitment of crew, offering, 'Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful.'"      - Carol V. Davis, competition final judge.


ICE HOURS follows the Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914, whose goal was to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. Poems explore the flora and fauna, crew and families, the challenges, failures and triumphs. It traces this journey from Antarctica where, 'Pink-golden mists of pollen wafted across/ deep valleys' to a winter freeze that sends, 'Violent wind, black waves roiling.' Boyer’s precise language dazzles in portraits of historical figures, letters to a fiancé back in England, and descriptions of brutal weather, the sea, boats, animals, and people. There may be no answer to the central question of Ice Hours, but the reader is riveted by the vision and obsession that sparked this historic expedition."

Selected by Poets & Writers as"NEW & NOTEWORTHY"book for 2023

Editor Kathleen Kirk's review of ICE HOURS in

Escape Into Life. 

What Word for This

Winner of  Grayson Books 2023 Chapbook Competition

Joan Kwon Glass, judge for the 2023 Grayson Books Chapbook Competition writes: "In this luminous, brilliant collection, the writer journeys into the vast universe of language, with its magic, possibilities and limiations. Each poem explores a word in a different language, asking readers to consider universal questions of grief, of  memory, longing and the unknown...By the end of What Word for This, I found myself  thinking differently about words themselves, regarding them  all as my teachers, whispering questions to me that I didn't know I needed answers for."

Grayson  Books
ISBN: 979-8-9855442-7-5

Main Street Rag, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-59948-737-3

 The Sea Was Never Far 

Marion Starling Boyer’s The Sea was Never Far functions as oral history, dramatic monologue, personal mythology, biography framed by white space, and a novel in verse—but thankfully, it is poetry, salt-tinged and music-lush as the sea. Each poem  is an act of lyric ingenuity, offering up a particular voice within the realm of a particular place and time, revived by Boyer’s attention and magic.     

                                                         -  Diane Seuss, poet and Pulitzer Prize Winner 


Marion Boyer cannot exist. No one person could give such voice to fishermen, millers, widows, thatchers, herring girls, compass adjustors. An entire community rises from the pages of The Sea Was Never Far, not as pale and whispering ghosts, but as individuals with nicknames and failings and skills and stories that invade your head and become your memories. Whether Marion Boyer is ventriloquist or necromancer or medium, it is certain that she is a poet.                               

         - Susan Blackwell Ramsey,  Prairie Schooner Book Prize Winner for A Mind Like This.  

Composing the Rain

Winner of Grayson Books 2014 Chapbook Competition

This extraordinarily original and powerful collection of poems strikes me as nearly flawless. The poet makes wildly inventive use of sound, metaphor, and imagery, and I deeply admire the poet's willingness to take chances in both craft and idea. Furthermore, they are all strong and brilliantly written, but the manuscript holds together richly and convincingly as a whole...these poems made me smile with delight.    - Edwina Trentham, Competition Judge                                                                                                                   

  Grayson Books

ISBN: 978-0-9913861-2-3

The Clock of the Long Now

Mayapple Press 2009

​ISBN: 978-0-932412-77-5


Finishing Line Press 2003

ISBN 1-932755-01-2

To order books go to contact page.

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