In this collection, the author loses, finds and redefines herself, in poems that are sometimes visceral and often humorous. She ultimately shows how meaningful life can become after a period of darkness and how transformative those experiences can be.
Anne Walsh Donnelly's debut chapbook with FOTW Press 'The Woman With An Owl Tattoo' came 2nd at the International Poetry Book Awards 2020.
‘These are personal poems, where the reader shares with the poet a space as intimate as the conjugal bed. From the everyday idiom of housewives and farmers to the imagined voices of beasts and inanimate objects, Anne Walsh Donnelly captures the humour and pathos of real life with unique honesty.’ - Audrey Molloy, poet and author of Satyress
‘In Odd as F*ck, Anne Walsh Donnelly recounts one woman’s journey through pain and growth. The poems are poignant, stark, and beautiful, heavy with unanswered questions, but buoyed up by levity. This is potent work.’ -Nuala O’Connor, author of The Juno Charm
‘Do you have any idea what a fabulous daughter you have?’
said the mouse, as I waded
through the mound of clothes on the bedroom floor.
‘I don’t know why you’re always giving out to her
for leaving half-full mugs of hot chocolate
on her dressing table. I’m rather partial to a sip
of cold, hot chocolate. And we do have a fine feast
on the scraps of blueberry muffins.
Though we might be getting a bit plump
from all the sugar. I was only saying to the wife
the other day that she might have to go on a diet.
We get great entertainment watching her do her make-up.
Do you realise what a talented artist she is?
All you seem to do is give out about the dirty towels
and make-up pads she leaves in the bathroom.
Though, I could make your hair stand on end
if I told you about the hour-long conversations
she has Facetiming her pals. Ah no,
couldn’t do that to her and you’re better off
not knowing anyway.
But tell me, who’s this Shane lad?
He seems to be popping up on her Snapchat a lot lately.
Sent her ten heart emojis yesterday.
And that wasn’t lipstick that was on her neck
after the disco last Saturday night either.’
‘I’m going to town to get a mouse trap later,’ I said.
‘Ah, you wouldn’t want to do that to the poor buck’s
willie. That’d break her heart altogether.’
1957 - 1959
On the hottest Sunday in July,
the same day Mam got her first period,
she was sent to her father’s room
to wake him for tea.
She cried when she touched his tepid skin
and begged him to open his eyes.
In the fields cattle lowed, udders heavy with milk.
Two Christmases later,
my grandmother pressed Mam’s hand
against her abdomen,
told her of the operation in January.
‘I’m afraid I might not wake up.’
‘You mustn’t cry,
you have to be strong for your sisters,’
the nuns told Mam, the day before the funeral.
She watched over her sisters
as they stood shivering in the graveyard,
under the shadow of a Great Oak.
She became the roots of their saplings,
chainsawed through her own pain.
‘This is poetry; raw, untethered, honest poetry. It is poetry that doesn’t hide, doesn’t whisper but instead stands tall and roars. It allows us to get to know the author, to journey with her as she navigates through family, sexuality, ageing and motherhood. This is poetry that tells us that it’s okay, that life is often not easy but there is always hope, poetry that gets straight to the point, that is pure, that is real. This is poetry.’ -Steve Deneghan, poet and author of Days of Falling Flesh and Rising Moons
'Anne Walsh Donnelly states that Death is not nothing, it is everything—this could be the manifesto for her fierce and delicate poetry. A disarming openness and honesty lights up in every poem while her voice never loses its humour or balance, ranging. from the visionary to a wonderfully universal everyday demotic.' - Martina Evans, poet and author of Now We Can Talk Openly About Men
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