About Moyra


In the much ploughed field of ‘Irish’ poetry, Donaldson’s is a honed and highly relevant voice.                                                                                                                                                             Naomi Foyle, Culture Northern Ireland.

Living on the Ards Peninsula, Moyra Donaldson creates her poetry in a unique atmosphere of mysterious skies, water bird migrations, hawthorn hedgerows, and turbulent people.

With a voice honed growing up through Northern Ireland’s years of violence and political turmoil – and at a time when women’s voices were excised from cultural expression, Moyra has carved her own place in the poetry of the North.                             

Moyra balanced writing with family life, and a thirty-eight-year career in social work until retirement in 2018. Over three decades, Moyra’s prize-winning poetry has been acknowledged by: The Woman’s National Poetry Competition, Allingham Award, Cuirt New Writing Award, North West Words Poetry Award and the Belfast Year of the Writer Award.  The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has consistently recognised Moyra’s contribution to the Northern canon, most recently with their prestigious Major Individual Artist Award 2019.

Moyra’s award winning poems have been individually published in anthologies, magazines and journals in Europe, Australia & North America, and broadcast on British and US networks, leading to invitations to participate in literary festivals throughout Ireland, Europe and North America.


Kissing Ghosts, Lapwing Press 1995; Snakeskin Stilettos, Lagan Press 1998 and CavanKerry Press, USA 2002; Beneath the Ice, Lagan Press 2001; The Horses Nest, Lagan Press 2006; Miracle Fruit, Lagan Press 2010, Selected Poems Liberties Press 2012; The Goose Tree, Liberties Press 2014.

Born out of her lifelong love for horses, Moyra’s 2018 collaboration with visual Artist, Paddy Lennon resulted in the lavish illustrated publication: Blood Horses; her contribution lyrical, narrative poems illuminating poetical, surprising yet true ‘original stories’ of The Bryerley Turk,  Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Barb- celebrating the founding stallions of modern thoroughbreds.

Her most recent collection: Carnivorous from Doire Press 2019

(See Collections Section for more detail on these books).


A regular performer at many of Ireland’s literary events, Moyra has the capacity to create a personable sense of intimacy with her audience. She regularly reads at festivals such as Dublin Book Festival; Belfast Arts Festival; Galway’s Cuirt Festival and Bangor’s Aspects Festival. Further afield Moyra has conducted reading tours in New York, Montreal, Paris, Brussels and Budapest.


With over twenty-five year’s practical experience, Moyra also delivers masterclasses in creative writing and poetry. She has worked as editor and mentor for literary organisations such as the Irish Writers’ Centre, Arts Council (NI) and Words Ireland. As an advocate for marginalised voices, Moyra has been a committed activist, supporting the Northern Irish Community Arts Movement.  She is highly sought both for her use of language and communication skills and her capacity to teach others how to employ theirs, in community arts and health and social care settings such as: Hospices, Hospitals, Mental health programmes, Cancer centres, NI Stroke Association and the British Deaf Association.


Moyra’s consistent involvement in Northern Ireland’s literary scene provide her with a deep knowledge of the sector. She has been invited to judge the Seamus Heaney New Writing Award, and Belfast Book Festival’s Mairtin Crawford Award for Emerging Poets, which she co-founded to commemorate the life of poet, Mairtin Crawford, a respected friend.


Moyra also mentors poets working towards a first collection.


To access any of these services, or to make an enquiry, please get in touch through the booking section.