by Moyra Donaldson
Foreword by Medbh McGuckian
The publication of Moyra’s first collection . . . represents the discovery of a writer who, I believe, can go on to become one of Northern Ireland’s most accessible and popular poets. I know this is a big build- up but I am certain this work will be read and treasured by housewives, taxi drivers and professors. This writer has the surest of touches. Her work is so well crafted. The words come out almost perfectly. Each word is like a solid piece of rock that’s in just the right place at the right time. There is not a letter overwritten or wasted . . . And all conveyed with feeling and human guts into the bargain. —Martin Lynch
It is a rare pleasure to come across a poetry that is a source of simple enjoyment . . . uniquely valuable in a social as well as a literary sense, charting as it so subtly does the emergence of a delightful, sensitive, all-embracing personality from a repressive religious environment . . . Her determination is to explore the realities . . . of living itself; then of living peculiarly as a married woman . . . The most attractive, never mind seductive, quality of this first collection is its honesty, a convincing intimacy of tone, rewarding us with the sense that we are being offered the truth and given a key to some of the most secret rooms of a heart. —Medbh McGuckian
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MOYRA DONALDSON was a founding member of the Creative Writers’ Network and is Literary Editor for Fortnight magazine. In addition to Snakeskin Stilettos, her collections of poetry include Kissing Ghosts and Beneath the Ice. She has produced four stage plays, and her screenplay h was filmed in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she graduated in English Language and Literature from Queens University. She also qualified as a social worker and studied social welfare law, which led to another career in welfare and education. Literary honors include the National Women’s Poetry Competition and the Allingham Award. Born in County Down, Northern Ireland, she now lives in Newtownards with her husband John Liddle and daughters Claire and Jannah.
Eight years old, you understand
these shoes are different.
Not for nothing
has your mother wrapped them in paper,
shut them into their box, set them
at the very back of the wardrobe.
You imagine them-
on their own in the dark,
Biding their time.
Sneak in, creak open the door,
lift the lid and let them out,
untissue the fear.
Run your fingers
against the fissley scales,
press the fangs of heels
into your palm.
you’ve never felt before.
These shoes are live and dangerous