Poetry Book Society Recommendation
Maura Dooley’s poetry is remarkable for embracing both lyricism and political consciousness, for its fusion of head and heart. These qualities have won her wide acclaim. 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).
The Silvering is her first new collection since Life Under Water, which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2008. Looking in, looking out, looking through are the recurring perspectives offered by these poems. These are poems interested in shifting light and what it reveals, reflects or conceals and especially, perhaps, in what remains 'caught in the silvering’.
'The Silvering...occupies and explores more deeply the well-planted ground she has made for herself. The poems in this book move with customary reverence between the stripped lyric and something that approaches narrative but never quite becomes it. Her lyrics are often pared back, transformative acts, particularly adept at the making strange... This is not just an act of compression but a master-class in the paradox of elliptical inclusion. And there are many poems in this collection that achieve this.' – Vona Groarke & Tim Liardet, PBS Bulletin
‘I’d also recommend Maura Dooley’s The Silvering, a book of reflective and deceptively simple verse, lyrically beautiful, sharp and observant.’ – Tracey Thorn, New Statesman (Summer Reads 2016)
‘Mystery, memory, uncertainty are recurring motifs in these (mostly) brief lyrics that both relish our perceptions and doubt their staying power.’ – Beverley Bie Brahic, Times Literary Supplement [on The Silvering]
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.