Poetry by Maureen Boyle
Photography by Malachi O’Doherty

ISBN: 9781851322213

Maureen Boyle thinks herself back to the past, reinterpreting, making the image new, wondering what it is like to be someone else … Her imagination is strongly visual; memories are pictures.

– Ciaran Carson


Strabane is in ’a pocket of mountains’ and the love act is in the naming – the gap at Barnes Mor, Glenties. Here are the stories of boys, mere children, waiting in this same square to be hired by a rich farmer who came and squeezed young muscles before making his choice. Here is talk of hard borders and heartache; the harsh life of the mill workers; the dark secrets of the river; a journey with the poet’s father on the last train to Sion Mills. The poet recalls the bombed drapery shop ’when in the name of Ireland underpants and socks would fly into the sky’. This is a bittersweet, haunting love song to home.

– Nuala McCann, The Irish News


There is much to celebrate and enjoy here, Boyle delivering a well-rounded collection whose subjects and themes are diverse and stimulating. The poems move easily from historical to personal and back, with stand-out notes along the way. The Work of a Winter is the reward of Boyle’s years of craft and study, and is a fine debut amongst the work that publisher Arlen House has delivered to audiences.

– Colin Dardis, Lagan Online


’It is, in fact, a remarkable insight into Northern Ireland from one of its best writers and most thoughtful observers: one of the few capable of choosing a detached observation point and looking at the problem from different angles. Maybe that’s something to do with his passion for photography and an instinct for knowing that the most tellingly accurate shot is never the most obvious one. Anyway, Fifty Years On is the best book that Malachi O’Doherty has written.

– Alex Kane


Malachi O’Doherty skilfully weaves his personal family history through the layers of turmoil engulfing this city.

– Yvette Shapiro


This thoughtful chronicle of how a society has changed in the adult lifetime of one man is witty, poignant and beautifully written.

– Sam McBride