Frank McMahon

Frank McMahon was born and raised in Birkenhead, Merseyside. After graduating he began his career in Social Work/Welfare as a practitioner and manager, working for three Local Authorities, British Red Cross and ActionforChildren. He also served for nine years as a school governor. His last full-time post was to set up and manage a SureStart Children’s Centre. “There is nothing like working with and for young children. They constantly teach you to look at the world with fresh eyes and be open to new experiences.” He is married with two children and six grandchildren.
When not writing (plays, a novel, short stories and poems) he enjoys walking, (The Cotswolds are his new playground); his allotment (save for the weeds), golf, chess, travel, music, and counts himself fortunate to have some wonderful friendships. He is a member of Somewhere Else Writers Group in Cirencester, whom he thanks for their patience in reading and critiquing his work. As part of that group, he works with Corinium Radio on programmes and plays.
In January 2020, Palewell Press launched Frank's debut poetry collection - At the Storm's Edge- in Cirencester. And in July 2022, they went back to Cirencester to launch his new collection A Different Land

Reviews of At The Storm's Edge

Frank McMahon's poems of love and fury revel in a keen sense of the natural world and a stark understanding of humanity's fragile place in the broad sweep of history. Acutely observed and laced with arresting imagery, At the Storm's Edge is full of 'music arcing back to a vanishing world', in which the personal and the political are wound delicately together and sing out from the page in potent harmony. Adam Horovitz

In this debut collection, organised in five thematic sections, Frank McMahon explores a range of personal and universal experiences. His poems are sincerely felt, whether with anger (at injustice), grief (at the loss of family or friends), delight (with nature, music, words). He approaches his subjects with a deftness of touch and sense of lyricism. He has a keen ear for voice, which at times is direct ("assume the supplicant's position"); imagistic ("shoes, fissured, soiled, heels broken'). More often it is questioning, reflective, or poignant. Never sentimental nor didactic, McMahon is a poet who thinks deeply and respects his readers; a poet who tells the truth but tells it slant. An assured first collection. Iris Lewis

Reviews of A Different Land

McMahon's ear for the musicality of language is joyous. These poems share a questing energy that move across time and place, seeking answers to humanity's injustices and solace in its consolations. Within these pages you will find gentle humour and beauty, familiarity without sentimentality and a refusal to ignore the challenges of our colonial history and its legacies. J.L.M. Morton

In A Different Land, Frank McMahon builds on the interweaving of love, anger, history and nature that permeated his first book to thrilling effect. The poems move effortlessly between the macro and the micro, from the weight of history acting as extra gravity for a knee pressing on a man's neck to the exquisite territorial song of the blackbird, and through all sorts of unpredictable weathers in between. This is a land well worth travelling in and McMahon's voice is getting stronger with each book. Adam Horovitz

Camilla Reeve, Senior Editor

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