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Moyra Donaldson

Poet Moyra Donaldson

Biography

MOYRA DONALDSON is a poet and creative writing facilitator from County Down. She has published eight collections of poetry, including a Selected Poems and most recently, Carnivorous from Doire Press. Her awards include the Women’s National Poetry Competition, The Allingham Award, Cúirt New Writing Award, North West Words Poetry Award and the Belfast Year of the Writer Award. She has received five awards from the ACNI, including the Major Artist Award in 2019. Her poems have featured on BBC Radio and television, as well as on American national radio and television. She has read at festivals in Europe, Canada and America. Moyra has been involved in an array of other projects, including a collaboration with photographic artist Victoria J Dean, resulting in an exhibition and the publication Abridged 0 -36 Dis-Ease. Blood Horses, a collaboration with Wexford artist Paddy Lennon, culminated in a limited-edition pub-lication of artworks and poems. She has also worked with Big Telly Theatre Company on a number of projects.

Genre: Poetry
Number of publications: 2

This book is to savor, a volume to return to as the poems reveal their fullest meanings. Behind all the work is that 'small, secretive animal of self' that Donaldson captures.

— Maria Wallace

Sample Work

Sample poems from Bone House

In the movie of her life

My young mother walks across a beach,
the tide is out, I’m in the pram she pushes
over the wet sand; the man walking beside her
says he’d bring me up as his own,
if she’d come back to him.

She remembers freedom, 
Armagh dance halls,
her fingers playing tunes 
on the button accordion;
arms around him
on the back of his motorbike
before her father came
to bring her home 
where she belonged.

She drives me home
to where her husband waits,
my father —
and we all live in the bed
she’s made for us.

 

Made Flesh

beware the god who constructs Himself
as human — what does divinity know of us
mortal fragile afraid

beware the god who constructs Himself
as father — he has eaten his pregnant wife
ordered the murder of daughters
and the slaughter of nations 
on a divine whim
or for mysterious reasons

beware the god who constructs Himself
as son — he is always his father’s 
perspective 

beware the god who constructs Himself
as any earthly creature — bull or swan
his desires are never sated

Sample Poems From Carnivorous

Myth Making

It’s as if we might have made them up.
Like the night we camped on a hill in Donegal, above
the sea and under a clear sky, watching the Perseids
smear sudden streaks of brilliance across our holiday

and it was like eternity or timelessness or time
or something; our two young daughters, awake
after midnight and watching with us. They both
remember too — I’ve asked. Even after twenty years,
light is still seared across their retinas; the night when…

 

Home Ground

Ferns lodge the wall; foxglove and mullein
spike through stones; something starred
with dark blue and yolky yellow flowers
creeps through the hedge and climbs.

Horseradish un-tidies the lawn; planted
by birds, trees colonise flower beds; buddleia
blown by the wind to stony crevices, roots
and blossoms, as once, imported, it followed

the railway lines, using the pull of air
from trains to escape from the big houses,
make its way across the countryside.
So it is that exotics become weeds.

I read of a couple who became
lost amongst the rhododendrons.

Reading on The Holding Cell

Video Poem of Half Moon and Jupiter

Video Poem of Myth Making

Books

Bone House
Bone House Mpyra Donaldson

Isbn: 978-1-907682-81-0 | Pages: 72 | Published: 2021

Moyra Donaldson’s Bone House is furious in its range, depth and grief. It is the work of a poet fully alive to the moments of pure light ‘before the darkness closes in again.’

— Kerry Hardie

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Carnivorous
Carnivorous Poerty Book by Moyra Donaldson published by Doire Press

ISBN: 978-1-907682-68-1 | Pages: 72 | Published: 2019

Drawing on myth, nature and memory, the poems in Carnivorous speak of the extraordinary in the ordinary. Fluidity of self and of time, and evocation of the natural world, our human need to try to make sense of our lives are themes that are expanded and developed in the poet’s eighth collection.

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