Nessa O’Mahony’s fifth volume of poetry explores many of her signature themes developed over a 20-year period. She writes with renewed urgency about life and love, continues her preoccupation with history (the hidden and overt), questions cultural identity and demonstrates her keen affinity with nature and landscape as well as exploring the liminal areas between loss and gain. At the heart of this new collection is a central sequence, the Hollow Woman poems, that explore O’Mahony’s recent scrape with ovarian cancer, an experience that provoked profound questions about the essence of womanhood and female identity when faced with existential threat. But more than this is O’Mahony’s enduring exploration of the human condition in a poetic voice that is quiet, subtle and occasionally devastating.
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Date of Publication: 28/05/2019