By Mary Montague


Fermanagh-born poet Mary Montague’s second collection, animated by concern for the natural world.


Fermanagh-born poet Mary Montague’s second collection, animated by concerns for the natural world.

“The poems of Tribe are accomplished acts of ‘intemperate looking’. Whether the poet’s gaze is trained on wolves in the wilderness or on her own aging parents, the portraits are accurate and passionate… Mary Montague has written a book rich in praises and laments, surprises and delights.”
— Theodore Deppe, author of Cape Clear: New and Selected Poems

“[T]he trained eye of the natural scientist and the impassioned soul of a poet fuse to create a poetic universe that is nothing short of miraculous… Tribe is an elegy for a lost paradise, a Song of Songs for squirrel, fox and raven, whale, wolf and gannet, and ultimately it raises serious questions for us and generations to come—how did we squander our inheritance so mindlessly: what have we done with the garden entrusted to us?”
— Eva Bourke, author of The Latitude of Naples

“These are densely-packed poems with a striking degree of concentration, and an almost scientific urge to catalogue images and sensations. She’s a nature poet with the kind of vivid intensity that would have made Wordsworth quake in his boots. This is a rewarding collection jam-packed with memorable images, and infused with a strong sense of our moral responsibility towards nature.” — The Sunday Tribune

“Montague’s poetry enacts a happy marriage between the scientist’s carefully objective eye and the lyricist’s celebratory (sometimes elegiac) rapture…”
Eamon Grennan, The Irish Times

ISBN 9781904556770 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 100 pp

Product Detail

    No detail information

About The Author


MARY MONTAGUE was born in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh in 1964. She currently lives in Belfast, where she works as a facilitator of creative writing and a tutor of science at Queen’s University. She is a biologist by background with a Master’s degree in Animal Behaviour, and a PhD in birdsong. Mary Montague has published two collections of poetry, Black Wolf on a White Plain (Summer Palace Press, 2001), and Tribe (Dedalus Press, 2008). Tribe was published in Italian as Tribù in 2014 by Edizioni Kolibris. Her poetry has also been translated into French and Russian. Mary Montague’s work has featured in numerous anthologies, including: The Word Ark: A Pocket Book of Animal Poems, illustrated by the Sicilian artist Gaetano Tranchino (Dedalus Press 2020); Reading the Future (edited by Alan Hayes, Arlen House, 2018); and Science Meets Poetry 3 (edited by Jean-Patrick Connerade & Iggy McGovern, Euroscience Press, Strasbourg, 2013). Mary’s work has benefited from a Poetry Ireland Tyrone Guthrie Centre Mid Career Bursary (2019) and a Support for the Individual Artist award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (2017). Other awards include a Fellowship for the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers (2010), and joint first in Cúirt New Irish Writing (2008). In keeping with the focus of her work on the natural world, Mary Montague contributes to The Guardian’s Country Diary. See also