Though raised a thousand miles inland in the United States, Ann Zell gave heart and soul, whole-heartedly, unreservedly, to her adopted homeland of Ulster.
The city of Belfast was her intellectual centre – she was a stalwart member of the radical and sustaining Word of Mouth Collective; but the north coast of Donegal was where she grounded her questing spirit. On that littoral she faced the wild and ungovernable sea and found her surest self mirrored in its other life forms, in the creatures of water and air. The elemental patterning in sea flora and the underlying unity of disparate elements were gift to her poetry and salvific to her remembrances of childhood.
In these poems, meditations on ageing and the ageless, she moves vividly and characteristically, very much the Ann Zell we knew and loved in her magnificent last years.