In Memory: Mary Macrae

The funeral’s taking place today of the poet Mary Macrae.  I was a classmate of hers at some of the Advanced Poetry Workshops taught by Mimi Khalvati for the Poetry School.  I didn’t know her very well, but remember very strongly her kindness and intelligence.  She had a way of wearing her intellect very lightly – gracefully – so that her fellow students never felt stupid or patronised.  And her work was delicate, with a very finely-tuned attention to the line-break.  It reminds me a little of the work of Mark Doty, not just because she too wrote about coastlines.  Something about her committed attention to what the eye can bring in, too – and the (I’ve got to use those words again) lightness and gracefulness with which she wrote about the difficult-to-name.  For example, at the end of her wonderful poem, ‘Flycatcher’, she names “tenderness; yes, / tender, as a bruise is.”

She published one collection that I know of; As Birds Do, in 2007 (available from Second Light Publications, ISBN: 978-0-9546934-3-5).  You can read some of her work here.

I am so very sorry for her loved ones.

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