Beneath the Ice

Moyra Donaldson

About the book…

Consolidating and deepening the achievement of her debut collection, Snakeskin Stilettos, Beneath The Ice presents a world at once familiar yet deeply troubling; a world of transience, of faces glimpsed in mirrors, of the fleeting underlying the apparently permanent and forever, of surfaces and words only half-understood. 

Central to this fluid collection are poems about love, familial duty, and mortality; about a grounding in the promises and failings of the past and yet a determined and hopeful embracing of the future. Clear-eyed and salutary, Beneath The Ice is an important and engaging collection.

Photo of the author, Moyra Donaldson

About the author…

Moyra Donaldson was born and raised in Co Down and educated at Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster. She is married with two grown up daughters and is employed in Social Work. Moyra has been described as one of the country's most distinctive and accomplished writers: a poet whose voice is full of integrity and mystery. 

Her first full collection Snakeskin Stilettos, described in Poetry Ireland Review as 'quite simply a brilliant debut', was published in 1998, followed by Beneath the Ice in 2001, both by Lagan Press. An American edition of Snakeskin Stilettos was published in 2002 by CavanKerry Press, New Jersey and short listed for a Foreword Book of the Year Award. 

Her poetry has won a number of awards, including the Allingham Award, the National Women's Poetry Competition and the Cuirt New Writing Award. Both her poetry and her short stories have been short listed for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards. 

She has received four awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, most recently, the Artist Career Enhancement Award. Her work has been anthologised and has featured on BBC Radio and television, including the Channel 4 production, Poems to Fall in Love With.

Horse's Nest, published by Lagan Press in 2006  has been described as 'one of the most enjoyable poetry books of the last few years. A book which transports you to a magical place' (Poetry Ireland). Her latest collection, Miracle Fruit (2010), also published by Lagan Press sees Moyra re-engage with those living on the margins of society and also returning to the Enlightenment to investigate constructs of modern femininity. 

It has been described as revealing 'the expansive and diverse interests of the poet, as well as a remarkable empathy and compassion'. (Culture NI review). Moyra is also an experienced creative writing tutor, working with individuals and groups in the literary, community and health care sectors. She has edited a number of anthologies and was literary editor for Fortnight magazine.