The title of Irish writer Jim McElroy’s remarkable recent pamphlet for smith|doorstop does much to corroborate that sense of unanimity with the natural world that is a prevailing feature of his poetic métier. As mood darkens in accordance with a rural landscape that is sodden, encloistered in sepulchral light and mostly resistant to aesthetic considerations, our thoughts turn, perhaps too readily, to the black hills of R. S. Thomas’ godless breed of Welsh upland farmer. And if there is thin consolation in the presence of labour and hardship, the effort of will required to transfigure hard experience into words that confer dignity brings a species of maturity to McElroy’s work. For this is a serious, and seriously skilled, suite of thematically connected poems, whose quality gives the lie to the fact of their comprising a first collection.
See the review at the following link – yorkshiretimes.co.uk/article/A-Message-From-The-Dead-We-Are-The-Weather-By-Jim-McElroy