The poems were inspired by experiences in her life in Spain and Ireland as well as by her wide reading and her need to explore, for herself and others, the mysteries of connections and separations, the paradoxes of life and love. It contains many remarkable and passionate poems.
"Above all Molloy is an elegant writer, a term some may mistakenly equate with superficial as if truth lies in crudeness. Her elegance is grace, her ability to be playful and serious simultaneously, to recognise the profound in the casual... olloy's poems are never quite what they seem, they reveal their secrets slowly while never seeking shelter in gratuitous obscurity. They demand and warmly repay rereading. To echo Auden, the Irish vessel is drained once more of poetry with the passing of Dorothy Molloy."
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 The papers she left after her death contained enough unpublished poems for two further books, which have been assembled by her husband, Andrew Carpenter.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.