Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

Editor: Matthew Sweeney



Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan



Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition




Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes





Munster Literature Centre

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Cork County Council






Southword 15

Welcome to Southword 17A—not one of our twice annual full issues but a special supplement featuring the prizewinning entries for the inaugural Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Prize. Our congratulations to the winner, John F. Deane. He happens to be the founder of Poetry Ireland, whose review is currently celebrating its 100th issue.  In addition to these prizewinning poems we have a special round-up of poets living in County Cork; the selection includes poets with several books under their belt as well as others who are on the cusp of a first collection. We gratefully acknowledge the special grant we receive from Cork County Council’s Art Office every year specifically for Southword.


Also featured in this supplement is an interview with Yiyun Li from our 2008 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival. The interview is in video and along with other video contributions here (John F. Deane reading his winning poem, a link to Crazy Dog Audio Theatre’s marvellous performance of a Paddy Bushe poem) marks our determination to exploit, to the full, opportunities presented by the medium of the web. As Southword evolves it will feature more and more multimedia components to accompany the written word.  In particular, future issues will feature more video recordings of contributing poets reading their work, presenting them with a chance to market themselves as readers to literary event programmers.


Su De, a young novelist famous in China, was our exchange writer –in-residence last year with the Shanghai Writers’ Association. We are proud to be able to publish her in English for the first time. Her story The Ring presents an intriguing insight into a contemporary Chinese urban society still very much linked to its spiritual, rural roots.


The issue is rounded off with book review of three Irish poets. Two articles are by one of our regular reviewers Val Nolan on two new, exciting, essential books by mature Munster poets: Ciaran O’Driscoll of Limerick and Michael Coady of Tipperary. Additionally, Matthew Sweeney writes on Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin's latest collection.


Most of the work for Southword 18 has already been selected and will appear in late July 2010. A reminder that Southword pays contributors for publication; payments are modest, but less modest than the nothing that many literary journals, especially web journals, can afford. We pay €30 per poem and €120 per short story.


Patrick Cotter


The Munster Literature Centre



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