Maura Dooley's poetry is remarkable for embracing both lyricism and political consciousness, for its fusion of head and heart. Helen Dunmore (in Poetry Review) admired her 'sharp and forceful' intelligence. Adam Thorpe praised her ability ‘to enact and find images for complex feelings…Her poems have both great delicacy and an undeniable toughness…she manages to combine detailed domesticity with lyrical beauty, most perfectly in the metaphor of memory ’ (Literary Review).
'Her poems are themselves acts of displacement, turning around some event or emotion that cannot be fully named or known…an imagination which proliferates mysteries' – Jon Cook, Independent on Sunday
‘A world subtly rippled and distorted, in which everyday objects are “made strange” and nothing, when you reach in a hand, is quite where you expected it to be.’ – Sarah Crown, Guardian
‘Kissing a Bone, her second collection, adds a shrewd historicising sense to the lyric tenderness which glowed in her first book. It takes us across borders – literal, emotional and figurative – into states of mind which are entirely her own, yet instantly recognisable by all us us.’ – Andrew Motion
‘Sound Barrier…demonstrates beautifully the strength of this deceptively delicate, often very tender poet: how she marries spare lyrical cadences with political scepticism, packing a whole gamut of wit and sharp observation into very little space.’ – Ruth Padel, Financial Times
Maura Dooley reads two poems
Maura Dooley reads two poems, 'What Every Woman Should Carry' from Sound Barrier (Bloodaxe Books, 2002) and 'The Elevator' from Life Under Water (Bloodaxe Books, 2008). This film is from the DVD-book In Person: 30 Poets filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce, edited by Neil Astley, which includes seven poems read by Maura Dooley.