strange fruits

by Maria C. McCarthy

A poetry collection to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Published by Cultured Llama and WordAid, July 2011

Details of how to buy 'strange fruits' are now available on the Cultured Llama website. More funds go to Macmillan Cancer Support if purchased directly rather than through Amazon. I'll even sign your copy!
The Medway Broadside published this article on how I came to write the book. 

Reviews of 'strange fruits'

David Cooke has reviewed 'strange fruits' for Message in a Bottle poetry e-zine (November 2012). David Cooke, like Maria, is a second-generation Irish poet. His latest collection 'Work Horses' is published by Ward Wood Publishing. Read the review here.
Fiona Sinclair has written this review of 'strange fruits' for the Ink Sweat and Tears website. 

Alexandra Loske in 'The Frogmore Papers, 78' writes:

'McCarthy’s third collection of poetry is a publication in collaboration with WordAid, a collection of poets who raise money for various charities. The proceeds of this excellent collection will go to Macmillan Cancer Support. There was a very personal reason for McCarthy to choose this particular charity, as is made clear in her preface, and although she assures us that these poems and prose pieces were not specifically written for the friend she lost to cancer, an intensely personal notion runs through them, with a moving note in prose of their last day out together. As with her previous works the collection is carefully arranged, with a clear sense of structure and gentle narrative within poetry. Some of the poems are necessarily intimate, such as ‘Slipping Down’, others remarkable universal, with strong, sometimes amusing imagery. Who would have thought the burnt out ruins of of a Matalan store could be compared to a carcass / of this giant industrial bird, its curved bones / bared like half-carved turkey.’

Review in Other Poetry Series Four, no.4

‘There are many skilful poems here reflecting the particularities and virtues of loved people and places. But a powerful imagination is in action too:
Her scales tear layer from layer, and she / slithers into clothing to conceal the sheen of skin: / shimmering purples, pearl and green. // ‘My God you’re cold, / as cold as the sea. My God, My God,’ he gasps, // but God can’t save him now…

Unexplored Territory

edited by Maria C. McCarthy

Cultured Llama's first anthology of poetry and fiction is available from Cultured Llama, online retailers and bookshops. Read about it here


Jenny Cross
Maggie Drury
June ­English
Maggie Harris
Mark ­Holihan
Sarah ­Jenkin
Philip Kane
Luigi Marchini
Maria C. McCarthy
Rosemary McLeish
Gillian Moyes
Bethany W. Pope
Hilda Sheehan
Fiona Sinclair
Jane Stemp
­Richard Thomas
Vicky Wilson

Nothing But

by Maria McCarthy (2007)

"Nothing But is a privately printed and distributed pamphlet by an author also known as a writer for BBC's Home Truths programme and, quirkily, her obsession with Led Zeppelin. On her various websites she freely admits to love watching ER and browsing charity shops, but also endearingly informs is that she 'writes in A5 spiral bound notebooks with a well-sharpened pencil'. Her sharp pencil works well in this exquisite pamphlet. Though not all poems transcend the the experimental stage that conjures up unedited scribblings in her A5 notebook, many of them have a freshness, depth and immediacy that makes a good pamphlet so enjoyable. 'Mitchelstown', her sequence of poems dealing with a journey to her father's hometown in Ireland stands out in its roundedness and consisitency of imagery. Maggie Drury's woodcuts in the cover are a bonus treat.”

Alexandra Loske in The Frogmore Papers, 72, 2008

Learning to be English

by Maria McCarthy (2006, 2008)

“I certainly do remember 'July 1969' [the poem was shortlisted for a competition, which Moniza judged] - it was so sharp and moving. In fact so many of your poems are sharp and moving, richly suggestive with evocative details. I alighted on 'Flowerpot' in Learning to be English - a very surprising, quietly devastating poem!”

… from Moniza Alvi

Critique Service

Contact me for details of my Critique/Editorial service for your poetry and short fiction. Mentoring in poetry and fiction is also available.

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