This book draws on three previous collections, together with a whole collection of new poems, Rootling. Here Katie Donovan's lively sensibility explores motherhood, with the birth of her two children: from the blues to the pleasures of breastfeeding, she charts the shock of birth and the delights of watching her babies develop. Enmeshed in the familial and domestic, the death of her father prompts her to shuttle back to scenes of her own rural childhood, as well as mourning the passing of a remarkable man. The end of the collection dwells on her partner's courageous struggle with cancer.
"This is a beautifully evocative and thought provoking collection of poems."
"Here are companionable pieces that explore the beginning and end of relationships, moments from Irish history, the details of journeys to Mexico and Brazil. But it's in the poems to her daughter that her writing has taken on a greater intensity and conviction."
Charles Bainbridge, The Guardian
"Donovanís remarkable fertility with imagery serves a profound exploration of the first and last mysteries of the flesh... Rootling... spans the two great poles of human experience, and Donovanís grasp is big enough now to hold them both together, as it is to hold multiple, forceful, often conflicting emotions in the moment. Rootling: New and Selected Poems celebrates the birth of this maturity and lets us view its genesis."
Peggy O'Brien, The Irish Times
"Donovan has an exceptional descriptive giftÖ a highly idiosyncratic, individualistic writer who probes experiences for hidden meanings... her seeming introversion is expressed through a poetry of great solidity and tactilityÖ She covers a remarkable rangeÖ extending from the powerful elegies and international death-rituals of the opening poems to smart human parables."
"Donovan is a writer of considerable skill and even the short clipped sentences take a strong shape in her hand."
"Here is a poet who enjoys writing about what is new and strange, surprising or disconcerting... When she is introspective, what she homes in on is not the reflective mind's attempt at a just balance but the wildness of the instant of emotion."
EilÈan NÌ Chuillean·in, Cyphers
"Disarming candour, detachment, intense emotion, and violent, savage imageryÖ thoughtful and precise, Donovan's tough, compassionate, practical intelligence is tempered by humour, grace and a pleasure in playfulness."
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
"Adventures of place meet and mingle with adventures of the body. This is by no means a reliable or frequent encounter in contemporary poetryÖ The tension in these poems is also their intent: they are discovering and making a private world which also manages, with real grace, to be inclusive and engaging."