Few contemporary Irish writers can give voice to a sense of place on the Atlantic seaboard in the way Mary O’Malley can, and no more so than in a recent poem inspired by a long walk during the early days of Covid-19.

It describes how she stopped on a bridge as Galway hookers hoisted sails in the sun, how she watched as the vessels “criss-crossed slowly, monarchs dancing”, and how she “walked on, lifted out of grief”.

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