By Catherine Phil MacCarthy

The Invisible Threshold

2012 collection of poems from Dublin-based poet and novelist, exploring liminal states of being, loss and reconciliation


Catherine Phil MacCarthy’s fourth collection, The Invisible Threshold explores from several angles the idea of ‘threshold’ or the ‘liminal’, the state of being in transition from one moment to the next. These poems celebrate life with a deep sense of wonder. They capture transformational moments of experience where mortality and loss as well as the ties between the body and spirit are explored. Reconciliation with a mother’s death brings ‘a sense of first breath on the earth’ and acknowledges that grief delivers a new freedom, where intense life is ‘open to pure being’ and the abundant energies of summer.

ISBN 978 1 906614 607 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 74 pp
September 2012

Additional information

Dimensions216 × 140 mm

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781906614607
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 74 pp
  • Published: : September 2012

About The Author


Catherine Phil MacCarthy was born in Co. Limerick in 1954 and studied at University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, and Central School of Speech and Drama, London. She taught at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and at The Drama Centre, University College Dublin, before turning full-time to writing in 1999. She is the author of four poetry books, This Hour of the Tide (1994); the blue globe (1998), Suntrap (2007) and The Invisible Threshold (Dedalus Press, 2012). She has also published a novel, One Room an Everywhere (2003). A former editor of Poetry Ireland Review, she has worked as Writer in Residence for the City of Dublin (1994), and at the Department of Anglo-Irish Literature, University College, Dublin (2002). She has also worked as guest writer at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology, and regularly leads workshops in Poetry at the Irish Writers' Centre. She won the National Women’s Poetry Competition in 1990, was a prizewinner in the 1992 Patrick Kavanagh Awards, and was shortlisted for the Austin Clarke Prize in 1996. The recipient of Arts Council bursaries for poetry in 1994, 1998, and 2007/8, she was the winner of The International Fish Poetry Prize in 2010. Catherine Phil MacCarthy is the recipient of the 2014 Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, administered by the University of St Paul, MN, USA.