Where Shadow Falls


‘Where Shadow Falls’ is a fabulous book with a poet who is on top form and a consummate purveyor of the ‘craft or sullen art’ of poetry.  Ruth O’Callaghan is equally at ease with beautifully realised ‘observational’ poems and the philosophical, often mixing successfully the two. The personal and the political merge, coalesce and they are underlined with a poet whose sensibilities are wide ranging in their compassion and backlit by a wry, ironic humour that breaks through as the lucky reader experiences in a poetry book, laughter, tears and gasps of admiration. A stunning collection. — JACK CARADOC

SKU: 9781915048080 Categories: , , Tag:


Where Shadow Falls explores the frailties of the human condition, the landscapes in which such frailties emerge, and the dire consequences that can ensue.

The language and structure of the poems allows readers to create their own interpretations of events and relationships. Never didactic and often leavened with wit, the poems occupy the liminal space between what’s present and what lies beyond. Nevertheless, they are attentive in their range to such present-day realities as prostitution, prison and political deception. Forgiveness, they discover, may be found in time or place but we can only be ‘…certain that all is other in these uncertain times.’

Praise for Ruth O’Callaghan

‘Sharp and compassionate, not in any easy general way, but through an understanding of what confronts us in both nature and our lives, the language beautifully heard,
packed and measured’ — George Szirtes

‘I have read through the manuscript [of Vortices] amazed and aghast. These are poems that confront the worst that life has to show and to tell us with a dedication to truths most of us never have the courage to face up to. Only a poet, and probably only a woman poet who has looked unflinchingly at the extremes of evil and yet retained faith in an ultimate good, could have written them’ — Anne Stevenson

Ruth O’Callaghan.  Paperback, 210 x 135 mm, 84 pages, October 2023.

About the author: Ruth O’Callaghan, a Hawthornden Fellow, international competition adjudicator, interviewer, reviewer, editor, workshop leader and mentor, has published eleven full collections and a book of interviews with internationally eminent women poets. She hosts two poetry venues in London, whose ethos is to promote poetry’s social dimension, enabling both the famous and unknown to read together with proceeds supporting two Cold Weather Shelters for the Homeless. She has compered and performed at poetry festivals in the UK and abroad, has read extensively in Asia, Europe and the USA, and collaborated with other disciplines and nationalities including women poets encountered on her Arts Council sponsored trip to Mongolia.

Ruth O’Callaghan’s previous publications:

Poetry Collections:

  • Double Binary (Shoestring Press, 2022)
  • A Rickle of Bones (Shoestring Press, 2020)
  • Unportioned (Salmon Poetry, 2019)
  • Mapping the Light (Shoestring Press, 2018)
  • Wringing Blood (Salmon Poetry, 2018)
  • Vortices (Shoestring Press, 2017)
  • An Unfinished Sufficiency (Salmon Poetry, 2015)
  • The Silence Unheard (Shoestring Press, 2013)
  • Another Morning of Quiet Pleasures (Soaring Penguin Press, 2013)
  • Un Salt in Timp (A Lope of Time) (Universității din București, 2012)
  • Goater’s Alley (Shoestring Press, 2010)
  • A Lope of Time (Shoestring Press, 2009)
  • Where Acid Has Etched (Bluechrome, 2007)
  • Take 5 ’06 Five Poet Anthology (Shoestring Press, 2006)
  • Without Skin: Interviews with 23 Internationally Renowned Women Poets (Soaring Penguin Press, 2016)
  • Echoes From The Steppe –An Anthology of Contemporary Mongolian Women’s Poetry – Edited by Ruth O’Callaghan (Soaring Penguin Press, 2011)


  • Echoes From The Steppe, 2011
  • And The Story So Far, 2009


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Where Shadow Falls”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.