Loners and Mothers explores the complicated psychology of loners within a variety of contexts, their obsession with family, and their many means of escape from what they perceive as a dark and frightening world.
"With a few deft strokes of his keyboard Allen Ireland is able to suggest the character and outline of deeply troubled relationships. Sometimes, as in 'To a Movie Actor' and 'Crying,' his poems have the sharp force of epigrams. Others, like 'Silence' and 'On the Plains,' employ a solitary human figure to portray a terrifying loneliness. In Loners and Mothers the lines are profoundly, almost harshly, felt and durably made."
"Readers of Loners and Mothers will find themselves transferred to a timeless prairie, which strangely mixes raw candor with sophistication. Ireland's lines are sidewinders, sliding towards his hearers with skillful, mesmerizing music, clear thoughts, and respectable, suave emotion. His themes are eternal and relevant - bonds between a father and son, affection for a mother, a lover's defeat, a Christmas tree as the symbol for undesired though thriving, alluring life. This poet's gaze is concerned primarily with the human, his eye 'continuing,' and, one intuits, not easily satisfied. Indeed, he leaves his reader fulfilled - but at the same time, wishing for more."