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The Boning Hall
New and Selected Poems
ISBN: 978 1 857545 98 2
Categories: 21st Century, Catholic, Irish, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: October 2002
216 x 135 x 10 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Hardback
Pink rain, a flock of waders turn in the sun
and there is nothing but the space between
dimensions, a luminous choreography
of the birds absence; a trick that
no matter how often we see it calls back
the ghosts of faith and wonder, to disappear again
perfectly rehearsed, like a shoal of mackerel
making their iridescent bellies dark.
Mary O'Malley is a natural musician. Her poetry alludes to music – the music of Ireland, the Iberian peninsula, the America of jazz and spiritual – and shares forms with it. Music is spiritual and political at the same time. Her themes embrace the child colonised and the adult journey, Ireland and America and Southern Europe, a poetry exploring love, place, loss, and locating the poet's one true home in language. When her native Irish language is lost to her, finding that true home becomes a special kind of challenge.
The Boning Hall is the first book of poems by Mary O'Malley to be published by Carcanet. It includes work drawn from her previous collections, Where the Rocks Float (1993), The Knife in the Wave (1997) and Asylum Road (2001), all published by Salmon Poetry.
Awards won by Mary O'Malley Joint winner, 2018 Michael Hartnett Poetry Award
(Playing the Octopus)
Praise for Mary O'Malley 'very fine and hugely varied collection of poetry'
Colette Sheridan, Irish Examiner
'O'Malley is a true artist in sketching the beautiful, small details without which the essence of place, and the identity dependent on it, can be all too easily erased.'
'This new collection by one of Ireland's most respected and radical poets is as exhilarating a read as the title promises. Sampling through levels of irony from the neolithic to the neon lights of the lonely cities, from east to west, and indeed the hackneyed wesht (with a characteristically wicked eye), O'Malley offers us lyrics of the salvific quotidian woven together with the surreal elements of surviving our island paradoxes. Insouciant as the pirate queen Grace O'Malley who downfaced Elizabeth the First, Mary O'Malley steps into a zone of power and mastery with these new poems.'
'Mary O'Malley's seascapes [...] are suffused with such beauty and sonorous mystery and rhythmic care that they lift us above ourselves and the time we inhabit.'
Colm Tóibín, Irish Times, 8th December 2012
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