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Dorothy Molloy was born in Ballina, Co. Mayo in 1942. She studied languages at University College Dublin, after which she went to live in Madrid and Barcelona. During her time in Spain, she worked as a researcher, as a journalist and as an arts administrator. She also had considerable success as a painter, winning several prizes and exhibiting widely. After her return to Ireland in 1979, she continued painting but also began writing poetry. Her first collection, Hare Soup, was accepted by Faber and Faber, but Dorothy contracted cancer and died ten days before its publication. The papers she left after her death contained enough unpublished poems for two further books, which have been assembled by her husband, Andrew Carpenter. The first of these posthumous collections, Gethsemane Day, was published by Faber and Faber in 2007. This volume, Long-distance Swimmer, is the final collection of her work.