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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.


Upcoming Events

Regular Events

2018 Archive




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

Next Event: 14th January, Rachael Hegarty

Rachael Hegarty is a Dubliner. She is 7th child of a 7th child. She was educated by Holy Faith nuns in Finglas, the U. Mass. Bostonians, the Trinity M. Phillers and the PhD magicians at Queens University Belfast. Her poetry is widely published and broadcast. Her kids say she uses the 3 F- words too much: Finglas, feminism and feckin’ poetry. Her debut collection, Flight Paths Over Finglas (Salmon Poetry, 2017) won the Shine Strong Award in 2018 and her forthcoming collection, May Day 1974, will be launched in spring 2019.

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

Next Event: 27th January

Fiction at the Friary is a series of free monthly fiction events in Cork. We host readings by guest authors, followed by an optional writing exercise and finishing with an open mic session. We also hold a free raffle for books donated to us, as well as occasional book reviews and plenty of friendly conversation. And we always provide free jelly beans, hula hoops and marshmallows!
Open mic readings are currently limited to ten minutes max per writer. All welcome. Please come along for an enjoyable Sunday afternoon!
We would like to thank our sponsors Hogan Architects, JRAP O’Meara Solicitors, Cork City Council, The School of English at UCC, the Arts Council and The Friary Bar. We also thank all the fantastic guest authors we have hosted since January 2017, all of our wonderful open mic writers and, finally, our welcoming and receptive audiences.

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 Facebook 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






Launch of Counterparts

An anthology of poetry and prose inspired by legal cases to raise funds for homelessness charity Peter McVerry Trust

Wednesday 5th December, 6pm
Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork




The Wild Dog Rose: In Memory of John Montague

Presented by Poetry Ireland in Partnership with UCC
Saturday 8th December, 8pm

When John Montague died in December 2016, Ireland lost another poetic giant. As John’s 90th birthday approaches, Paddy Moloney and Tríona Marshall of The Chieftans join forces with Pulitzer prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon to celebrate Montague’s remarkable life.

Paddy Moloney uilleann pipes, tin whistle

Paul Muldoon voice

Tríona Marshall harp

Long-time friends and collaborators, John Montague and Paddy Moloney released their album The Wild Dog Rose on Claddagh Records in 2011 to great acclaim. A powerful combination of Montague’s sonorous voice reading his luminous poems and the musical forces of The Chieftans, The Wild Dog Rose was brilliantly described by the director John Boorman as “Irresistible. The poet of loss and love consoled by the minstrel of delight.”

In this celebratory performance of The Wild Dog Rose, poet and close friend Paul Muldoon will read John’s words alongside Paddy Moloney and harpist Tríona Marshall.

Buy Tickets Here




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.


winter warmer festival 2018




Paul Lynch & Carys Davies

UCC’s 2018/19 School of English reading series
November 20th 2018

ucc reading

UCC’s next School of English reading will feature two historical novelists, Paul Lynch and 2018 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellow, Carys Davies.

The reading takes place on Tuesday, November 20, Creative Zone, Boole Library, UCC, at 6.30pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Paul Lynch is the author of three novels – Red Sky in Morning, The Black Snow and most recently, Grace, a coming-of-age novel set against the unfolding tragedy of the Famine, which won this year’s Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year.

Carys Davies is the current Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellow and teaching on the UCC's MA in Creative Writing. She is the author of two collections of short stories, Some New Ambush and The Redemption of Galen Pike, which won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award in 2015. Her first novel, West, is an epic-in-miniature, set in Frontier America in 1815 and was published earlier this year.




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




Frankenreads Cork 2018

October 30th - November 2nd

October 30th at 4pm, Western Gateway Building 402


A symposium of staff from across the University discuss the topic: How does Frankenstein speak today to your area of research?

October 30th at 5pm, Western Gateway Building 402

Frankenlecture #1

Jennie deBie Handmade: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and European Waxworks

October 31st at 3pm, ORB 2.12 

Frankenlecture #2

Prof. Graham AllenFrankenstein 3.0. A Myth of Science and a Myth of Nature.

October 31st from 6pm-7.30pm

FrankenscreenKane FSM Auditorium (tbc).

Screening of the 1935 classic The Bride of Frankenstein at UCC.

November 2nd at 5.30pm


A staged reading of the 1823 theatrical adaptation Presumption, or the Fate of Frankenstein.


A ghost story competition, winner to be published in The Quarryman. Opens November 13. Contact: FrankenreadsCork2018@gmail.com



Doire Press Reading

A Crack in Everything October 23rd, Cork City Library, 6.30pm

Doire Press Reading




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.


Learning Trail




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.




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



Southword Editions




2019 John Montague Fellow
Sandra Beasley


2018 Fellow Carys Davies

2019 Frank O'Connor
Short Story Fellowship
applications now open

Deadline: 31st Jan 2019




The Cork International
Poetry Festival

March 19 - 23, 2019



The Cork International
Short Story Festival




The Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Results February 2019



The Southword Fiction
Chapbook Competition

Results January 2019


how to pass

The Seán Ó Faoláin
Short Story Competition

2018 winner How to Pass
by Louise Crimmins
will be in Southword 36



The Fool for Poetry
Chapbook Competition

2018 winners
1st: Katie Hale
2nd: Regina Melveny




Youtube channel



Words Ireland

The Munster Literature Centre
is a constituent member
of Words Ireland


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