Letterkenny poet to launch new collection

A NEW poetry collection by Letterkenny-based poet Mary Turley-McGrath will be launched on the opening evening of the Allingham Festival on Wednesday.
‘After Image’ is Mary’s fourth poetry collection which is published by Arlen House. Her two previous collections, ‘Other Routes’ (2016) and Forget the Lake’ (2014), were also published by Arlen House, the Galway based publishing firm. Her first collection, ‘New Grass under Snow’ (2003) was published by Summer Palace Press run by Joan and Kate Newman in Kilcar.
Mary’s poems have been included in many anthologies including: Reading the Future; The SHOp Anthology; The Strokestown Festival Anthology and have been published in magazines such as Crannóg and Cyphers.
During the recent lockdown she was involved in a number of online readings. Her poem ‘Omar’s Song’ was a runner-up in this year’s Trócaire /Poetry Ireland Competition where the theme was ‘Pathways to Peace’. She was the winner of this competition in 2014.
Mary was part of the recent Cathedral Quarter Literary Festival in Letterkenny and brought the Festival to a close with a selection of poems based on the seasons, history and landscape of Donegal. She was accompanied by Jean Curran with a series of themed songs for the evening.
A founder member of Errigal Writers, she has been involved in readings in Letterkenny over many years. She has also read at festivals including Clifden, Shorelines and Strokestown, and in Poetry Ireland events in Dublin.
The poems in this new collection centre on the natural environment and on the underpinning seasonal structure of our lives. The poems draw hope and inspiration from the resilience, diversity, and complexity of nature.
In her comments on the book, well known poet Eva Bourke writes: ‘Mary’s fine new collection is structured like a triptych central to which are her contemplations of her natural surroundings and above all her meditations on the lake she visits often in all weathers for consolation, hope and inspiration.’
The launch in the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon at 7pm on Wednesday evening promises to be a varied and interesting event relevant to the times we live in.
The launch will also feature a new novel from Leitrim based novelist Brian Cahill. The writers will be introduced by Carl Duggan, and there is much local interest in the event.

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