GERRY SWEENEY'S MAMMY
Reading ... Gerry Sweeney's Mammy, I greatly admire its autobiographical scope, the pull-and-push of emotions, the use of various sub-languages which interweave through the poems: the Irish, childhood patter, the phrases of renown literature, the prose interludes, the use of words that stress their sound such as "Ahh, 'wooosh' another". This style continually excites interest.
Remarkably, despite the sadnesses and regrets, the book contains, the way Donall writes his narrative makes the reader want to remember, to cherish distant relations and acquaintances, to offer tribute to them and how those personalities helped shape the reader's own life, members of their close family or far away figures of literature. One of my favourites is "In Bed With Emily Dickinson" - this poem epitomises the boyishness and seriousness which Donall accomplishes in the book: two perspectives which are not often made into bed-fellows.
Paul Abdul Wadud Sutherland