Miracle Fruit (hardback)

Moyra Donaldson

About the book…

Hyper-realistic eighteenth century light, falling especially to make a point, illuminate a profile; light that insistently contradicts the darkness, ranging emotions set out in faces, witnesses to the birth of science, that precocious, cruel, self regarding child with the expendable dying bird, white cockatoo, exotic marker of discovery; suffocating, forewarning. from An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump. 

Building upon the achievements of her previous collection, The Horse's Nest, Miracle Fruit sees Moyra Donaldson re-engaging with lives lived on the margin and, once again, returning to the Enlightenment to investigate constructs of modern femininity. Whether channelling the voice of Mary Patterson, one of Burke & Hare's cadavers, the co-joined Violet Hilton reflecting upon her strange and celebrated life or writing about Gizel Steevans of Dublin, the Pig-faced woman, Donaldson's poems show a remarkable empathy and compassion for her subjects. 

Ambituous in its scope, and speaking with a rare authority, the poems of Miracle Fruit are compelling, insightful and profoundly moving.


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.

Contact moyradonaldson@yahoo.co.uk www.moyradonaldson.blogspot.com