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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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Literature Centre
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Munster Literature Centre





Disclaimer: The Munster Literature Centre lists the events below as a courtesy. We are not responsible for the professionalism of the groups involved, or the veracity of the information they provide us - we provide it here as an act of good faith. This may not be a comprehensive list and is updated on an ongoing basis. Should you wish to be included on this page please email the administrator.


Learning Trail

South Parish Learning Neighbourhood
October 23rd, South Parish area, 4pm
- 8pm

On October 23rd, follow a map to visit venues on a route that goes from the end of Douglas Street to top of Barrack Street and the Quays, as part of the Learning City initiative with City Hall and UCC. The Munster Literature Centre will be open during the first half of this trail, offering a small exhibition on the life of Frank O’Connor with an 18 minute film of Frank O’Connor shot around Cork City in 1961 by the BBC (as interesting for its period portrait of the city as much as it is of Frank O’Connor) on loop. We are also offering the first 60 visitors on the day free copies of two poetry chapbooks. We will also provide some information on the architectural features of this rare 18th Century vernacular urban dwelling.





The Well Review

Thirteen Poets Read Thirty-One Poems
October 31st,Meade's Wine Bar on Oliver Plunkett Street at 8pm

The Well Review presents 13 poets reading 31 poems on Halloween night at Meade's Wine Bar, Cork City.  Poets will read from their own work and also some of their favourite poems by other writers. Fancy dress encouraged but not enforced. Refreshments provided.

***Free Admission ***


well review




O'Bheal Winter Warmer Festival 2018

A Weekend of Poetry in Cork
November 22nd - 25th

Ó Bhéal is thrilled to announce its 6th Winter Warmer festival, featuring 23+ poets, films from Ó Bhéal’s International poetry-film competition, poetry in theatre, poetry set to music, the launch of a multilingual anthology, a hurling poetry session and a closed-mic set for ten local poets. There will also be a series of literary presentations from Ó Bhéal’s four European (ECIC) festival partners from Portugal, Italy, France and Spain.





UCC’s 2018/19 School of English reading series

Paul Lynch & Carys Davies
November 20th 2018

“Mining the Past” - Novelist, Paul Lynch, winner of the 2018 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for his famine novel, Grace, and Carys Davies, current Frank O’Connor Short Story Fellow and past winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award for her collection The Redemption of Galen Pike.

Donal Ryan & Colette Bryce
January 22nd 2019

January 22, 2019: Guardian Prize-winner and Booker nominated Donal Ryan and poet Colette Bryce, winner of the 2018 Piggott Prize for Poetry.





Weekly Poetry Reading & Open Mic Night
Every Monday from 8.30pm in the Hayloft (Upstairs in the Long Valley Pub, Cork)
Poetry-Films 8.30pm, Five Word Challenge 9.30pm, Guest Poet 10pm, Open-Mic 11pm

This week: Julie O’Callaghan

Born in Chicago, Julie O’Callaghan has lived in Ireland since 1974. Her collections of poetry include Edible Anecdotes (Dolmen, 1983), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and What’s What (Bloodaxe, 1991), a Poetry Book Society Choice. Her collection, No Can Do (Bloodaxe, 2000), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Tell Me This is Normal – New and Selected Poems, (Bloodaxe) a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was published in January 2008.

Her poems for older children have appeared in numerous anthologies in the U.K. (including the New Oxford Book of Children’s Verse and New Faber Book of Children’s Verse) and in three full-length collections, Taking My Pen for a Walk (Orchard, 1988), Two Barks (Bloodaxe Books, 1998) and The Book of Whispers (Faber & Faber, 2006). She is a member of the Irish academy of arts, Aosdána.

More information at ó bhéal's website

Check out Ó Bheal's unique weekly poetry competition the Five Word Challenge.




Fiction at the Friary

Monthly Author Reading, Writing Exercises & Open Mic
Last Sunday of every month, 3 - 6pm in The Friary Pub, North Mall, Cork

This Month: Fright Fiction at the Friary, curated by the Corpse Bride—bring along the scariest writing you have!

This event, run by Danielle McLaughlin and Madeleine D'Arcy, features readings by guest authors, along with open mic, optional writing exercises, occasional book reviews and plenty of conversation. Everyone with an interest in fiction is welcome to attend this FREE event. Please bring your own writing if you wish to take part in the open mic session – maximum reading time 10 minutes. Bring along a pen and paper for the writing exercise with fun promps.

More information at https://www.facebook.com/FictionattheFriary/




Psoken Wrod

Monthly readings & Open Mic
First Tuesday of every month at 8.30pm in deBarra's, Clonakilty




A mighty night of literary variety. A guest reading, an open mic and whatever else turns up.    All welcome, no cover charge, just a passing pot. De Barra's folk club, Clonakilty.

More information at pSoken Wrod twitter page



Hungry Hill Open Mic

Monthly readings & discussion
First Friday of each month from 8pm in the whiteRoom, Castletownbere

We host regular poetry evenings, open to all, on the last Friday of each month. Come and join us at whiteRoom in Castletownbere from 8pm for informal readings (your own poems or poems by other people), discussion, or just listening. Come and try it!

whiteRoom is a gallery just off The Square — from The Square, head towards the seafront with Beara Action Group on your left, and whiteRoom is a few yards along on your right.

For more information email hungryhillwriting@gmail.com






The 6th Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition

in association with the IndieCork Festival of Independent Cinema

Screening 1 – Dali, Carey’s Lane – 3pm, Sun 14th Oct

Screening 2 – Dali, Carey’s Lane – 5pm, Sun 14th Oct

The 2018 Shortlist with synopses, stills and biographies is online here.

The competition shortlist of thirty one poetry-films will be screened in two parts at the Blacknight Festival Centre, in Dali on Carey’s Lane, Cork. The films were chosen from 193 submissions from 33 countries, all completed in the last two years. Our 2018 judges, poet Anamaría Crowe Serrano and filmmaker Oonagh Kearney, will select one winner to receive IndieCork‘s award for best poetry film.




One City One Book

Yiyun Li in conversation with Patrick Cotter
October 10th, Cork city Library at 7pm

Award-winning Chinese-American novelist Yiyun Li is the author of the short story collection, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl. The book is the focal point of this year's One City, One Book initiative for Cork, and Li will be in conversation with Pat Cotter, director of the Munster Literature Centre, at the launch on Wednesday, October 10 at 7pm in Cork City Libraries on Grand Parade. Li was awarded the first Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award in Cork in 2005 for her debut collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.






UCC’s 2018/19 School of English reading series

John Banville October 9, West Wing 6 at 7pm

John Banville is the author of more than 20 novels, both under his own name and his crime-writing pseudonym Benjamin Black. He is also a memoirist and screenwriter and has adapted several of Heinrich Von Kleist’s plays for the stage. He won the Booker Prize with his 2005 novel The Sea. His most recent novel, Mrs Osmond, is a speculative continuation of the Henry James novel, Portrait of a Lady.


Upcoming Events

November 20, 2018: “Mining the Past” - Novelist, Paul Lynch, winner of the 2018 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for his famine novel, Grace, and Carys Davies, current Frank O’Connor Short Story Fellow and past winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award for her collection The Redemption of Galen Pike.

January 22, 2019: Guardian Prize-winner and Booker nominated Donal Ryan and poet Colette Bryce, winner of the 2018 Piggott Prize for Poetry.




Launch August 16th

You are welcome to the launch of "The First Sunday in September" by Tadhg Coakley at The Triskel Arts Centre on August 16th





Launch August 9th

Eileen Sheehan & John W. Sexton will read from their new Salmon collections – The Narrow Way of Souls and Futures Pass – at Cork city library on Grand ParadeThursday 9th August at 6.30. Introduced by Paul Casey. Entry is free and all are welcome!





Kinsale Arts Weekend 2018

POETRY LINEUP July 20th, 21st, 22nd


Friday July 20th

6.30pm Poetry Music & Mead at the Kinsale Mead Company

7.30pm Cormac Lally at Prim’s Bookshop


Saturday July 21st

4pm Fiona Smith at the CRU winebar

Sunday July 22nd

2pm Mags Creedon at the Black Pig

4pm Patrick Cotter, Gerry Murphy & Liz O’Donoghue at the CRU winebar

6pm Matthew Geden & Tim Pirkel at Gallery 23


For all events visit kinsale.ie




Subscribe to Southword here!


The 2018 Southword Fiction
Chapbook Competition

Deadline 31st October 2018


The Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Deadline 30th November 2018


Visit our Youtube channel
to view events from
previous festivals and more

Words Ireland

The Munster Literature Centre
is a constituent member
of Words Ireland.


Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition 2018


Judge Paul McVeigh

Read the 2017 winning story by Louise Nealon


The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Wednesday Septmeber 12-
Saturday September 15 2018


The Cork International
Poetry Festival


Wednesday March 20-
Saturday March 23 2019



The 2018 Fool for Poetry
Chapbook Competition
is now closed



Southword Editions

on sale in
our bookstore


including Fool For Poetry
winners, the New Irish
Voices series & more



Frank O'Connor
Short Story Fellowship

2018 Fellow Carys Davies



Poetry International

Recent additions:

Michelle O'Sullivan
Paddy Bushe
Doireann Ní Gríofa
Paul Casey








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