By Eleanor Hooker

Of Ochre and Ash

Of Ochre and Ash, Eleanor Hooker’s third collection of poems, lends to her familiar themes of family, place and memory a trademark uncanny, even otherworldly atmosphere, in which the glimpsed, the intuited and the half-known provide a great deal of the interest. The desire to “see my home from the other side” is a constant, but so too is immersion in the moment and, indeed, the ever-present nearby “darkening lake”.

08 October 2021
96 pp, 140 x 216MM


Of Ochre and Ash is Irish poet Eleanor Hooker’s third collection of poems.

Eleanor Hooker’s voice guides her reader through large metaphoric visions and the consolations of ordinary life. This is a collection full of urgent, haunted poems with a subtle range of approach; they are many-faceted works, reflecting the fragmented strangeness of experience. We face wild gothic moments, whose counterweight is the familiar, calm or stormy, world of the lake she lives beside and the people whose life is shared with hers.
— Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Eleanor Hooker’s poetry has a way of resonating in the reader like secret histories passed down through the generations. It is a strange effect: the drift of these poems seems to have been with us even before we began reading and lingers long after the book is closed. They are both strangely familiar and incredibly new and run the gamut of human experience: poems of sickness and healing; journeys and journeying, poems of the dead and the unborn; of storm and calm. The world she describes for us is by turns unsettling, mythic and surreal, but ultimately so exquisite and affirming that it can only be our own.
— John Glenday on Of Ochre and Ash

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About The Author


ELEANOR HOOKER was born in south Tipperary in 1963, and after many years living in the UK, now lives in North Tipperary. Her award-winning poems have been published in literary journals worldwide. She has three collections published by Dedalus Press, The Shadow Owner’s Companion (2012), shortlisted for the Strong/Shine award for Best First Collection, A Tug of Blue (2016) and Of Ochre and Ash (2021). Two chapbooks, Honey (Bonnefant Press) and traces (Salvage Press) also appeared in 2021. Her poetry has been published in translation, in Hungarian, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish and Romanian literary journals. Her profile features on the Irish page of Poetry International. She has twice won the UK Poetry Society’s Member’s Poetry Competition. Her prose and short stories have been published in the Irish Times and literary journals in Ireland, the UK and US. Eleanor Hooker holds an MPhil (Distinction) in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin, an MA (Hons) from the University of Northumbria, and an BA (Hons 1st) from the Open University. She is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, a helm and Press Officer at Lough Derg RNLI. Eleanor Hooker began her career as a nurse and a midwife. (See also