Fokkina McDonnell, photo credit: Ted Koehler


Fokkina McDonnell is an established poet, with two poetry collections (Another life, Oversteps Books Ltd, 2016; Nothing serious, nothing dangerous, Indigo Dreams Publishing Ltd, 2019) and a pamphlet A Stolen Hour (Grey Hen Press, 2020). Poems have been widely published and anthologized. She received a Northern Writers’ Award from New Writing North in 2020. The award-winning manuscript will be published by Broken Sleep Books in 2022.

Dutch-born Fokkina McDonnell lives in Manchester and Wassenaar, the Netherlands. Her poems have been widely anthologised, published online and in a range of magazines, including The North, Orbis, Magma, Poetry News, The Frogmore Papers, The Journal, Strix, Little Mslexia. Her competition successes include the Sonnet Prize in the 2012 Ware Poets Competition. Fokkina received a Northern Writers’ Award for poetry from New Writing North in 2020. The award-winning manuscript Remembering / Disease will be published by Broken Sleep Books in October 2022.

She has two poetry collections: Another life (Oversteps Books Ltd, 2016) and Nothing serious, nothing dangerous (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2019) and a pamphlet A Stolen Hour (Grey Hen Press, 2020).

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Nothing serious, nothing dangerous

“The strength of Fokkina McDonnell’s second collection lies in her command of an idiom sufficiently fluid and flexible for her to explore widely without any sense of strain; and her awareness of the ambiguities of language can accommodate the mildly surreal as easily as the acutely observed and felt.”
“Hers is a voice of light tones, but also measured utterance.”
(Lawrence Sail)

“When she is able to make this sort of sidestep into gently absurdity, Fokkina McDonnell lends a frisson of the surreal to her poems about memories and family and her considerations of ageing and travel and works of art.”
(Jane Routh in The North #64)

A Stolen Hour

“There is a strong group of ekphrastic poems which are particularly impressive. Confidently written, with economy and precision, moving, witty.”
(Carole Bromley)

“…And so poignant is her poem Strangers that I had to blink away a tear. While I have folded down a corner so that I can return to A la Hafiz whenever I feel the need for some tranquility. This is a collection that I will pull off the shelf and press on friends.”

(Sam Smith, Editor of The Journal #60)

Another life

“In these fine, often prize-winning poems, Fokkina McDonnell reveals her considerable imaginative range – sometimes sparely expressed but always with surprising switches of perspective and point of view. This is an overdue and enriching first collection, with incidentally a fascinating European edge to her poetic voice and its exploration.”
(Christopher North)

“there’s a delicate intimacy in Fokkina McDonnell’s poetry. She catches moment, place, character and feeling with poignantly crafted simplicity. There’s wit and humour – then, with deft, economical choice of detail, there are unforeseen swerves that reach the heart.”
(Gina Wilson)

Fokkina McDonnell with her 2020 pamphlet. Photo: Ted Koehler.