In 2009 Michael published a number one best-selling literary memoir At Five in the Afternoon dealing with his battle with prostate cancer. The Irish Independent Weekend Review described him: “Best known as a newsreader, Michael Murphy is also a distinguished psychoanalyst and an author of importance. His book is not just about cancer, it is an elegantly written memoir. Each section, or chapter, could stand alone as a stylish short story.”
A sequel The House of Pure Being, in which Michael reflects on writing, art, language, love, friendship, and the seductive charms of his beloved Spain, was published in autumn 2013 and reached the top ten.
Michael’s first poetry collection The Republic of Love was published in summer 2013. It covers themes of identity, language, love and mythology, and it was the first poetry book to enter the top ten list in Ireland since Seamus Heaney won the Nobel Prize.
The subject of Michael’s second collection of poetry A Chaplet of Roses is human nature, and it was published in November 2015. Dr. Jeannine Woods of NUI Galway, in her introduction says “Michael’s poetry expresses truths at once deeply personal and universal in their resonances. His poems continue to flower in the heart and mind long after we close the pages of this beautiful book.”
Michael Murphy’s Book of Dreams, an analysis of sixty-five dreams, was published by Gill Books in October 2017.
The Ministry of Dreams – Collected Poems was published in November 2019. It is made up of three books. The Republic of Love and A Chaplet of Roses were published in 2013 and 2015, and the new poems in The Ministry of Dreams – which also gives the overall title to the collection – appear here for the first time in 2019.
In September 2010 Michael gave A Concert Reading of At Five in the Afternoon in Dublin’s National Concert Hall. Excerpts from his memoir were read by Eileen Dunne (RTE) Eamonn Lawlor (Lyric FM) and Emer O’Kelly (Sunday Independent). Choruses from J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass referenced in the book were sung by the Goethe-Institut Choir accompanied by the Orchestra of St. Cecilia conducted by John Dexter.
Stories, Poetry and Dreams, an intimate evening with Michael Murphy and his broadcaster friends including Eileen Dunne, Emer O’Kelly, Eamonn Lawlor, Ciana Campbell and Deirdre Purcell, toured Ireland during 2014/16. In this show based on his writings, Michael and his guests shared deeply insightful reflections on love and sex, friendship and family, and Michael made the cancer journey with two inspiring women survivors in Spain. Performances were given in the glór Theatre Ennis, Pavilion Theatre Dun Laoghaire, Triskel Arts Centre Cork, Dean Crowe Theatre Athlone, Watergate Theatre Kilkenny, and at the Dalkey Arts Festival, Dublin. In March 2016, two performances of Stories Poetry and Dreams were given in New York at the Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51 st Street, and the show received a “Recommended” from the New York Times.
“There are tears. But there is laughter and great humour too. People are truly moved by the evening, a very unique cross between a book reading and a theatrical experience”. Irish Examiner.
Speaking of Dreams is an interactive evening where Michael and presenter Ciana Campbell examine people’s dreams. The show toured Ireland in 2017/18, culminating in a dinner-theatre event at the Avanto Restaurant, La Cala, Marbella in Spain on St. Patrick’s weekend.