Critical Appraisal


‘Montague expands human vision through her poetry … Her poems present a spectrum of visual responses … (whose) … diversity complicates the notion that there is some simple power structure maintained through human observation. Her poetry offers possibilities for connection between human beings and animals through various modes of shared vision.

Holly Connell Schaaf (2014)

Ireland and Ecocriticism Conference, University College Cork, 2014


‘…a determined outward gaze might be said to be part of the technique … of Mary Montague (who) has the “trained eye of the natural scientist and the impassioned soul of the poet”, as Eva Bourke puts it, working together to produce what Ted Deppe calls “accomplished acts of intemperate looking”’.

From: Flowing, Still, Dedalus Press 2009 (Ed. by Pat Boran):


Reviews of Tribe:

  • The Irish Times, 6 September 2008: ‘…Montague’s poetry enacts a happy marriage between the scientist’s carefully objective eye and the lyricist’s celebratory (sometimes elegiac) rapture…’
  • Sunday Tribune, 14 June 2009: ‘…These are densely-packed poems with a striking degree of concentration, and an almost scientific urge to catalogue images and sensations. She’s a nature poet with the kind of vivid intensity that would have made Wordsworth quake in his boots…’


Review of Black Wolf on a White Plain:

  • Poetry Ireland Review, 76, 2003,
    ‘The sensitivity of this poet is evident not only in the nature poems, but also in the more questioning, introspective poems … and in the very successful and affecting poems which deal with human subjects…’