Book Shop: Eat the Storms

I am very proud to say that Eat the Storms, my debut poetry collection, is published by Hedgehog Press and is available to order here…

To purchase Eat the Storms…


Eat The Storms Debut Collection




What is it all about…

I wanted to bring the reader on a journey, starting with a soft moon on a sun-drenched beach, a blazing white light like a blank canvas of possibility and, from there, add colour to that emptiness, incorporating both light and shade, a journey that required all senses at once; to test the running water of the riverbed with your tongue, to hear the pout of a ruby red lip while slowly exploring what happens when colour gives in to shadow, when shade threatens fragility as we are faced with our own fears before bringing us back again into the light, seeing that same fragility as our force and not our failure while holding hope in place of time that can never be held.
I imagined being able to find a way to paint behind the light, to add breath to all that is unbearable so as to swallow the truth and release the lies we stuff into the cracks of the canvas.
I wanted to draw life as a riverbed, cutting its path over rough rock and soothing soil, capturing colour for an instant before it passes on to the next connection, curve, crash, to see ourselves as the roaring wave, rising for a magical moment, and not just a silent witness to the rushing water.
I wanted to be able to confess to capturing colour without being called crazy because I was willing to lean in and lick the honey off a purple petal.

Reviews…

Matthew MC Smith, poet and editor of Black Bough Press

‘Eat the Storms’ is a sensory reading experience, with an accessible, appealing and multi-layered voice. Each new reading reveals different shades of meaning and all the nuances of Donnelly’s lyric voice. At once tender and lyrical, there are poignant and troubling moments throughout: the pain of experience – ‘the simple route the river runs, the rustle of the red rose tipped with thorns’; the recurring motif of fragile relationships; the conflicting desires for belonging and freedom; the gut-wrenching theme of being deserted; the complexities of identity and the ever-shifting sense of self we experience – ‘beneath the red ink tipped into this flesh’. 

This is a striking, powerful collection, which achieves a balance between a personal, expansive and lyric style and the taut control needed to achieve fine poetry. 

Catherine Ann Cullen , Poet in Residence at Poetry Ireland

Damien Donnelly is the archduke of alliteration and a poet in love with colour and sensuality. The poems in this first collection pop with blinding whites, rich reds and purples, and the yellow of Van Gogh sunflowers. They are jazz riffs on journeys, prisms chasing and catching the light. There is darkness too, in lines such as “Father ate all the flowers/in the back garden”, and  there are slower poems of self-assessment, including this finely achieved passage in “Red Ink”:

“I am looking

to find a new shape; turning back, returning,

recalling that first mark, to measure how far

from it I ran, to see what was left behind…”

Above all, there is a sweeping positive energy, a welcoming of all that the world has to offer, and a certainty that “dark doors open often into hopeful”.

Jessica Traynor, writer, teacher, debut collection- Liffey Swim

In a pamphlet saturated in colour, Damien Donnelly takes us on an immersive journey through a landscape of pigments. Written with great lyricism and emotional intensity, these poems contrast darker hues with lighter tones to create a sequence of poems that will linger in the memory.

‘Eat the storms, Mother said, but I didn’t hear it, at first.

It takes time to swallow the truth

and teach the tongue to taste the rain.’

from my poem Scarlet Rising