strange fruits

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 A Poetry Collection

by Kent writer, Maria C. McCarthy

Maria is a poet of remarkable skill, whose work offers surprising glimpses into our 21st-century lives – the ‘strange fruits’ of our civilisation or lack of it. Shot through with meditations on the past and her heritage as ‘an Irish girl, an English woman’, strange fruits includes poems reflecting on her urban life in a Medway town and as a rural resident in Swale.

Maria writes, and occasionally teaches creative writing, in a shed at the end of her garden.

Paperback; 72pp;  203×127 mm; 978-0-9568921-0-2; July 2011; Cultured Llama; £10.00

N.B. All profits from the sale of strange fruits go to Macmillan Cancer Support, Registered Charity Number 261017. More funds go to Macmillan Cancer Support if purchased direct from Cultured Llama by clicking on ‘Add to Cart’ below (UK customers only) or contact us to order from outside the UK. If you prefer, you can order online or – even better – from your local bookshop. Contact us for trade enquiries.

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‘Maria McCarthy writes of the poetry process: “There is a quickening early in the day” (‘Raising Poems’). A quickening is certainly apparent in these humane poems, which are both natural and skilful, and combine the earthiness and mysteriousness of life. I read strange fruits with pleasure, surprise and a sense of recognition.’ – Moniza Alvi, author of Europa

 Reviews of ‘strange fruits’

David Cooke has reviewed ‘strange fruits’ for Message in a Bottle poetry e-zine (November 2012). David Cooke, like Maria, is a second-generation Irish poet. His latest collection ‘Work Horses’ is published by Ward Wood Publishing. Read the review here.

Fiona Sinclair has written this review of ‘strange fruits’ for the Ink Sweat and Tears website.

Alexandra Loske in ‘The Frogmore Papers, 78’ writes:

‘McCarthy’s third collection of poetry is a publication in collaboration with WordAid, a collection of poets who raise money for various charities. The proceeds of this excellent collection will go to Macmillan Cancer Support. There was a very personal reason for McCarthy to choose this particular charity, as is made clear in her preface, and although she assures us that these poems and prose pieces were not specifically written for the friend she lost to cancer, an intensely personal notion runs through them, with a moving note in prose of their last day out together. As with her previous works the collection is carefully arranged, with a clear sense of structure and gentle narrative within poetry. Some of the poems are necessarily intimate, such as ‘Slipping Down’, others remarkable universal, with strong, sometimes amusing imagery. Who would have thought the burnt out ruins of of a Matalan store could be compared to a carcass / of this giant industrial bird, its curved bones / bared like half-carved turkey.’

Review in Other Poetry Series Four, no.4:

‘There are many skilful poems here reflecting the particularities and virtues of loved people and places. But a powerful imagination is in action too: Her scales tear layer from layer, and she / slithers into clothing to conceal the sheen of skin: / shimmering purples, pearl and green. // ‘My God you’re cold, / as cold as the sea. My God, My God,’ he gasps, // but God can’t save him now…(‘Survival’)’

Also by Maria C. McCarthy: As Long As it Takes

Maria’s website is

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