About Her Father’s Daughter:
Some things are eternal, for instance the ties that bind fathers and daughters and which cannot be dissolved by time or distance or loss. In Nessa O’Mahony’s third poetry collection, she examines the nature of those bonds through poems that combine the autobiographical with the historical as she explores poetically two very contrasting father-daughter relationships from two very contrasting periods of Irish history. Nessa’s grandfather, Michael McCann, was a quintessential Irish nationalist of the early part of the 20th century.
He fought for the British in World War I, then fought against the British in the Irish War of Independence and finally fought his fellow countrymen in an Irish Civil War. In this collection, Nessa presents a parallel sequences of poems, one relating to her relationship with her own father, whose decline and death she charts with painful honesty, the second exploring the life of her grandfather, a more mysterious figure whose story slowly emerges through her mother’s memories, and her own research. The result is a meditation on love and losing and on what is retained through narrative and memory.