Celebrated poet Julie Kane returns to her Boston Irish Catholic roots in this collection about mothers and daughters shaped by the forces of Irish history and Irish--American culture. Mothers of Ireland confronts how the legacy of personal trauma gets passed down to subsequent generations, with a focus on women from her family history and their paths of both pain and endurance. Kane's verse reverberates with the lives of her ancestors and the lasting impacts of famine, poverty, repressive religion, ethnic prejudice, and alcoholism. The poems are formal--villanelles, ghazals, sonnets, sestinas, and the like--but their language is fresh and rich with the sound of contemporary spoken English. Coming from a culture that values music, storytelling, and the oral poetic tradition, Kane uses rhyme and rhythm to move the body as well as the mind. Even at their darkest, these haunting poems flash with resilient Irish wit.