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