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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






The Munster Literature Centre lists the events below as a courtesy, we cannot
be held 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.


Find more information on Irish literary events at CultureFox.ie

Culture Fox





Weekly Poetry Reading & Open Mic Night
Every Monday from 9.30pm in the Hayloft (Upstairs in the Long Valley Pub, Cork)


This week: David StarkeyPaul WillisChryss Yost

David Starkey directs the Creative Writing Program at Santa Barbara City College, where he is Professor of English. He has published seven full-length collections of poetry, most recently It Must Be Like the World (Pecan Grove, 2011), Circus Maximus (Biblioasis, 2013) and Like a Soprano (Serving House, 2014), an episode-by-episode revisioning of The Sopranos TV series. In addition, over the past twenty-eight years he has published more than 400 poems in literary journals such as Alaska Quarterly ReviewAmerican ScholarAntioch Review, Barrow Street, Georgia Review, Massachusetts Review, Notre Dame Review, Poetry East, Southern Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Southern Poetry ReviewCreative Writing: Four Genres in Brief (Bedford/St. Martin’s) will soon be in its third edition and is currently one of the best-selling creative writing textbooks in North America.

Reviewing Starkey’s work in The Georgia Review, Paul Zimmer praised his “wonderful language” and “amazing lines,” concluding, “Starkey is an entertaining and resourceful poet.” David Kirby wrote that “the great philosophers weave in and out of these poems, hand in hand with the great criminals, and David Starkey is a step behind them, missing nothing.” And Eloise Klein Healy found Starkey’s poems to be “awash with reports from the senses and in full-throated song about it all. Wise, witty, and wide-ranging, this is poetry that will reward the reader with the kind of delight one feels in the face of masterwork.”


Paul Willis is a professor of English at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where he has taught creative writing and British Renaissance literature since 1988. With David Starkey, he edited the anthology In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare (University of Iowa Press, 2005). His work in creative nonfiction is Bright Shoots of Everlastingness: Essays on Faith and the American Wild (WordFarm, 2005), and his three full collections of poems are Visiting Home (Pecan Grove Press, 2008), Rosing from the Dead (WordFarm, 2009), and Say This Prayer into the Past(Cascade Books, 2013). He is also the author of an eco-fantasy quartet, The Alpine Tales (WordFarm, 2010), portions of which were previously published as separate novels by Avon Books.

Willis’s poems and essays have appeared in well over a hundred journals, including Poetry, Image, and Wilderness, and have also been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 1996 (Scribner’s), The Best Spiritual Writing 1999 (HarperSanFrancisco), The Best American Spiritual Writing 2004 (Houghton Mifflin), and The Best Christian Writing 2006 (Jossey-Bass). More recently his poems have been featured on Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac. His poetry chapbook The Deep and Secret Color of Ice was selected for the Small Press Poetry Prize in 2002 by Jane Hirshfield, who said of his work, “Paul Willis’s poems give off a multifaceted, sharp-edged beauty, akin to the light that sometimes glints from the edges of leaves after rain. They look to the places where unexpected treasures lie quietly hidden—a childhood illness, a set of old wooden bleachers, a Sierra Juniper’s berries—and bring that treasure richly forward, into a mature, and maturing wisdom.”

For more about Paul, please visit: pauljwillis.com


Chryss Yost is a lifelong Californian who has lived in Santa Barbara since 1990. She attended Santa Barbara City College as a re-entry student before transferring to UCSB, where she majored in English and minored in professional writing and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Education. She has received awards for her business writing, fiction, and poetry. Her poems have been set to music and she is a frequent collaborator with artists and galleries: she has written poems on request for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the County Arts Commission, the Museum of Natural History, and Sullivan Goss Gallery. Her poem “Furious Bread” was selected for the 2014 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award by Patricia Smith.

Since publishing her first poems in a national journal in 1997, Yost has published two fine-press chapbooks and has co-edited major poetry anthologies, including California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (co-edited with California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia and Jack Hicks). While serving as Poet Laureate, her first full-length book, Mouth & Fruit, was published by Gunpowder Press. She has since become a co-editor at the press, which is named to honor Barbara of Nicomedia, patron saint of gunpowder. California poet laureate Al Young wrote: Mouth & Fruit—what a hearty debut! If ever there lived a hands-on poet, her name is Chryss Yost. Wired with feeling and touch, reverie and thought, anger and hunger, these sleek poems dart, dive, sizzle, and sometimes sting.” And Colorado poet laureate Dave Mason said, “Chryss Yost’s poems are like the coastal light of California, so brightly made you almost miss the grief between the lines. This is poetry of warm intelligence, sensuality and grace.”



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

           The Friary       Mic photo

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 info: 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.

Find out more on the pSoken Wrod twitter page




Hungry Hill Open Mic

Last Thursday of each month from 8pm in the White Room, Castletownbere

Join Hungry Hill writers for informal readings (your own poems or poems by other people),      discussion, or just listening.  Come and try it!


For more information, email hungryhillwriting@gmail.com





Kinsale First Friday Poetry Evening

First friday of every month at Friar's Lodge

We hold a monthly open-mic poetry evening on the first Friday of every month at 8pm. Come and read a poem or two or just listen. Join us in the pub afterwards for plenty of literary chat. All are welcome. Regular readers include Matthew Geden, Afric McGlinchey & Adam Wyeth.




The Writers Corner on Cork Community Radio 100.5FM

Every Sunday at 6:30pm, Hosted by Ronnie McGin

cork comm radio

Hear talented local writers read and discuss their work on 100.5 FM or listen online at www.corkradio.com

Writers interested in a guest reading are asked to email ronniemcginn@eircom.net



*Please note that this may not be a comprehensive list and is updated on an ongoing basis. Should you wish to be included on this page, or list another event on our website, please email the administrator.





Read all the latest issues
of Southword journal
online here


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 27-
Saturday March 30 2019


The 2018 Southword Fiction
Chapbook Competition
is now accepting entries.
Deadline 30 October



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



The Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Gregory O Donoghue

This year's winner is Rob Lipton
whose poem will be published
in the next issue of Southword

The competition will reopen
for submissions in
September 2018



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