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Welcome to the Munster
Literature Centre

Founded in 1993, the Munster Literature Centre (Ionad Litríochta an Deiscirt) is a non-profit arts organisation dedicated to the promotion and celebration of literature, especially that of Munster. To this end, we organise festivals, workshops, readings and competitions. Our publishing section, Southword Editions, publishes a biannual journal, poetry collections and short stories. We actively seek to support new and emerging writers and are assisted in our efforts through funding from Cork City Council, Cork County Council and the Arts Council of Ireland.Originally located in Sullivan's Quay, the centre moved to its current premises in the Frank O'Connor House (the author's birthplace) at 84 Douglas Street, in 2003.

In 2000, the Munster Literature Centre organised the first Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival, an event dedicated to the celebration of the short story and named for one of Cork's most beloved authors. The festival showcases readings, literary forums and workshops. Following continued growth and additional funding, the Cork City - Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award was introduced in 2005, coinciding with Cork's designation as that year's European Capital of Culture. The award is now recognised as the single biggest prize for a short story collection in the world and is presented at the end of the festival.In 2002, the Munster Literature Centre introduced the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize, an annual short story competition dedicated to one of Ireland's most accomplished story writers and theorists. This too is presented during the FOC festival. The centre also hosts the Cork Spring Literary Festival each year, at which the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize is awarded (established 2010).

Workshops are held by featured authors in both autumn and spring, allowing the general public to receive creative guidance in an intimate setting for a minimal fee. In addition, the centre sponsors a Writer in Residence each year. We invite you to browse our website for further information regarding our events, Munster literature, and other literary information. Should you have any queries, we would be happy to hear from you.




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Munster Literature Centre




ÉIGSE 2009

Humour, Irony & Wit


Eigse 2009

18-21 FEBRUARY 2009

Please note the following changes to the schedule: Matthew Sweeney's workshop will take place on Saturday, 21st February at 10.00 am. The launch of Rosemary Canavan's new collection, Trucker's Moll, will take place at 2.00 pm on Saturday. Download all the following information in a handy PDF file here 


Welcome to the 2009 spring literary festival from the Munster Literature Centre. As with each of the last six years, our festival is arranged around a changing theme. In the past we have dealt with immigration, translation, love, politics and religion. This year the theme is Humour! Irony! Wit!

Not all irony is funny and not all humour induces belly laughter. Humour can be subtly nuanced or it can be in-your-face obvious and is often shaped by cultural considerations. Ridicule - a French arthouse film of some years back, notoriously claimed that the English had no wit but something called humour instead. Arguably one person’s wit is another person’s mere humour. To acknowledge this we have gathered together a disparate motley crew of literary clowns whose origins include America, Britain, Estonia and Japan as well as Ireland. We have poets, novelists, essayists and chancers of many genres.

I’m hopeful that for anyone habitually inclined to pick up a book, this festival will contain something to induce a wry smile or convulse the stomach muscles.

Taking note of the known healing properties of laughter, we have decided, for the first time ever, to distribute one of our festival brochures to doctors’ waiting rooms. Who knows? There might even be a few prescriptions issued on the basis of the festival.

As medicine you can take your pick from readings, workshops or book launches with complimentary wine or lemonade.

Have fun.

Patrick Cotter
Festival Director
Munster Literature Centre


Eigse Brochure


Reservations are only necessary for the workshop. Places at other events are on a first come, first served basis. Events will start on time. To reserve a workshop space please phone the Munster Literature Centre on 021-4312955.


The workshop will be held at the Munster Literature Centre, Frank O’Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork.

All other events are at the Triskel Arts Centre on Tobin Street, off South Main Street and Grand Parade, Cork.




Wednesday 18th February

Book Launch: Cailleach: The Hag of Beara by Leanne O’Sullivan The launch Cailleach: The Hag of Beara, published by Bloodaxe Books, England. Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 7.30 pm. Complimentary wine reception.................................................................

Thursday 19th February

Book Launch: Done Dating DJs by Jenny Minniti-Shippey The winning chapbook of the 2008 Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition. Published by Southword Editions. Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 7.00 pm.

Readings: Humour and Irony A selection of mostly Cork-resident poets featuring John Corless, Billy Ramsell, Liz O’Donoghue, Ian Wild, Matthew Sweeney, Cliff Wedgebury. Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 8.00 pm.

Readings: Neil Rollison & Fiona Pitt Kethley Two British poets renowned for mixing the humorous and the erotic. Neil Rollinson & Fiona Pitt-Kethley. Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 9.00 pm.


Friday 20th February

Readings: Dave Lordan & Alan Titley Two Cork expatriates who have made their family homes in Dublin. Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 7.00 pm.

Readings: Dennis O’Driscoll & John Hartley Williams Two distinguished poets whose work is flavoured with their European sensibilities. Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 9.00 pm.


Saturday 21st February

Book Launch: Trucker's Moll by Rosemary Canavan Trucker’s Moll (Salmon, 2009), Rosemary Canavan’s second collection. Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 2.00 pm.

Readings: Gina Moxley & Kevin Higgins Two Irish writers who have established reputations as dramatic readers of their own work. Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 4.00 pm.

Readings: Paddy Estonian, Paddy Irishman & Paddy Japanese Man Three absurdists from different corners of the globe. Andres Ehin, Gerry Murphy and Yatushiro Yoshimoto. Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 7.00 pm.

Readings: Julie O’Callaghan & Dan Rhodes A reading by poet Julie O’Callaghan and British novelist Dan Rhodes. Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 9.00 pm.

The Munster Literature Centre

Frank O'Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Ireland.

Tel. (353) 021 4312955, Email: munsterlit(AT)eircom(DOT)net

Irish Registered Charity No.12374