The Horse's Nest

Moyra Donaldson

About the book…

On Boxing Day TV
I watch a woman run
not away but towards the wave,
towards a cliff of death,
towards her family.

- from 'A Local Tragedy' 

Moyra Donaldson's third collection of poems, The Horse's Nest dramatically builds on the achievement of her first two critically well-received volumes, Snakeskin Stilettos (1998) and Beneath the Ice (2001). 

The keynote to this new collection is a compelling and painful candour. Whether writing about the sinking of the Princess Victoria off the County Down coast in 1953, the loss of parents, the joys of love, and the small betrayals and disappointments underpinning domestic life, Donaldson brings to her material an intimate understanding of the connections between the personal and the public, the past and the present, the local and the universal. It is her most rewarding collection to date.

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.