In On Water, John O’Donnell’s third collection, the award-winning writer explores universal themes: exile, exploitation, love and death. Alive to the present and the past, the poems focus on the intimate, particular detail: a mother’s panic at the beach; the stench of an industrial school; a slave-trader’s one good eye. Weaving personal and familial stories alongside history and myth, this is a thoughtful, accomplished and moving collection.
“There is a pleasingly intense edge to this poetry, deriving from his preoccupation that nothing occurs in isolation, but is always related to something beyond itself … he challenges the reader to follow the trajectory between the ordinary and the other.The tone is often moral and high- minded but never didactic or sanctimonious. O’Donnell’s ability to make connections with the lessons of history makes this poetry memorable.”
— Mary O’Donnell, Poetry Ireland Review
ISBN 978 1906614 92 8 Paperback
216 x 140 mm, 88 pp