In a major essay on her work, Fraser Sutherland celebrates Mary Dalton's use of a certain crystalline mineral:
"Given the omnipresence and omnipotence of salt in the history and geography of Newfoundland, it’s hardly surprising... that it has such prominence in the work of a poet so grounded in particulars as Mary Dalton. Adjectivally, it can also characterize her poems: they are salty. They are also saucy: impudent, bold, full of life. They take the idiom Dalton shares with her fellow Newfoundlanders, tempers it with her wide study of world poetry, and turns it to her own ends."