Denise Blake was born in Ohio, USA in 1958 and came to live in Co. Donegal in 1969. Summer Palace Press published her two poetry collections: Take a Deep Breath (2004) and How to Spin Without Getting Dizzy (2010). She is a regular contributor to Sunday Miscellany RTE Radio 1 and has taken part in many live recordings of the show. Denise has wide experience of facilitating creative writing workshops in schools, through poetry Ireland Writers in Schools Scheme, with teachers and artists as part of Artists in Education, and with adult groups. This is her third collection of poetry. Denise is Literary Curator for Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival.
The poems of Denise Blake are poems to sit with, to live with, and return to over time, for they reveal themselves more deeply with each visit. In the gentle cadence of Donegal island voices or in the “realtor-speak” description of a childhood Cleveland home, layers of memory are exposed. They spring from a wide, deep and very rich field, and are laid out with a subtle touch, exposing much that is universally recognisable, with the use of specific, and yet personal details.
If you have ever experienced loss, transition, those moments you thought you wouldn’t get past, but did; or if you have had moments of transcendence and joy, here you will find echoes and traces of those times. The threads of history in the life of family are woven throughout, offering glimpses of generations past, and generations to come.
Denise Blake has an elegant and refined hand. Her poems are not all “pretty” poems, for some pack quite a punch, yet they are poems to “warm a hollowed soul”. You will find yourself nodding and saying the holy Yes, over and over again. – Imelda Maguire