My debut poetry pamphlet collection is called Eat the Storms and was published on the 17th September 2020 by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. In 2019, while still living in Paris, I was one of three winners of the White Label Debut Poetry Pamphlet Collection and this collection is that winning dream come to life.
‘I wanted to draw the sound of the moon on a sun-drenched beach…’ that is the 1st line from the 1st poem in this collection and that is what I was looking for; to capture those impossible moments when the senses are confused as to which one should be working. To stand in a darkened room and still see a spark of light so as to not completely disappear into only sadness. To see fragility as not something weak or wearisome but as something as precious as the marbled perfume of the ocean as its waves wash over you, to witness the length of elastic learning its limits, to see how air can enter the body and sooth the spirit, 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.
Below are some of the reviews…
Just occasionally you come across a voice on poetry that is distinctive and unique. Damien Donnelly in this first collection ‘Eat the Storms’ is exactly that. Donnelly’s poetry is beautifully written and dense with vivid imagery, sometimes synesthetic and sometimes surreal. It demands to be read aloud and as one does a kaleidoscope of colour illuminates each page, for these are poems that play on the cultural associations of colours, imbuing them with personal significance and resonance. This is a writer of real talent, whose first pamphlet rewards reading, reading again and reading again. Nigel Kent, author of Saudade and Psychopathogen
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. Jessica Traynor, author of Liffey Swim and The Quick
This is a richly suggestive, highly vivid collection of poems, depicting a wide canvas of emotional landscapes with painter-like precision… It’s no surprise that Donnelly is also a painter and designer and repeated references to colour amplify and intensify emotions in rhapsodic waves of word-pictures, provoking intense feelings of joy and grief… 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. Matthew MC Smith, author Origin: 21 Poems and editor of Black Bough Poetry
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… 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”. Catherine Ann Cullen, author of The Other Now and Poet in Residence at Poetry Ireland
These are beautifully crafted poems taken from an artist’s palette ‘where language is lulled/into a lake of stilled thought’ where we ‘shed red thorns’ and find ‘the peace that dawns with the dust,’. From the surreal ‘Shades of Blue’ to the aching ‘Tattered Brown Trousers’, this collection asks us to catch these moments, to ‘catch the kisses,’ acknowledging that ‘It takes time to swallow the truth’ but arriving at the hope filled conclusion of ‘how much there is to love,/ to let go of, to learn from.’ Ness Owen, author of Mamiaith
Signed copies of my collection are available from my blog…