Review of ‘Walking Off the Land’ by Anne McMaster

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

In her poem Baptism at the Farm Well Anne McMaster issues an invitation, ‘Will you join me here?’: an invitation to join her on her family farm during her childhood in rural Ulster, and it is one I have willingly accepted several times since first acquiring my copy of Walking Off the Land (Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2021) , for this is a delightful and uplifting collection of poems. McMaster’s engaging poetry enables us to share her experiences as she relives so many precious moments from her childhood, offering us vibrant snapshots into a way of life that has sadly disappeared.

Perhaps one of the things that emerged most strongly for me when reading the collection was the sense of family. Nowhere is this better evoked than in the wittily entitled Home on the Range. The poem depicts food as an expression of love. Significantly the ‘range’ on which it was…

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