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







Grace Wells poem in Southword Journal 18


Grace Wells won the Eilis Dillon Best Newcomer Bisto Award for her first book, the children’s novel, Gyrfalcon, which was also an International White Ravens’ Choice. Children’s books, One World, Our World and Ice-Dreams appeared in 2009. Her poetry and short stories have been published widely and she reviews Irish poetry for the University of Chicago’s online literary journal, Contrary. Her work was recently anthologised in Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland (Dedalus, 2010). When God has been Called Away to Greater Things, her first collection of poetry, was published by Dedalus Press in May 2010.





Somewhere on Barnes Common a Box of Chocolates


The boys who rode into our Eden were rough,

we had the sense not to give them our addresses

bad enough they’d found our favourite tree,


where all summer we’d sprawled like lionesses

uncaring of any world below,

afternoons spent in serious talk of what awaited,


only to jump back onto our bikes, to speed

from the future’s clasp, dodging the Common’s

scrubby bushes, defying gravity, inviolate.


Their leader took a shine to me, and persisted,

shaking us from branch to earth, so we’d arrive

to find them, languid as panthers, in our place.


Cast out we had no choice but let them in,

though all was changed: we shared a Common tongue.

He brought me chocolates in a sealed box,


I would have dared their dark shell, bit eager teeth

into the sweet, white flesh, only my sister

said he’d stolen them. She banked on fear,


threatened the police; insisted the evidence

be thrown away untouched. I leant upon the wisdom

of her age, half-sensed a jealous hiss behind her care.


No matter that I didn’t eat them then, nor how far

my young arm threw that box, distance couldn’t shield me,

the contents bore my name, kisses, betrayals,


desire’s complications: love in all its forms.



©2010 Grace Wells



Author Links


Grace Wells at Dedalus Press

Various poems, reviews and an interview with Wells at Contrary

Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland









©2009 Southword Editions
Munster Literature Centre

Southword 6 Southword No 7 Southword No 8 Southword No 9 Southword No 10 Southword 11 southword 12 Southword No 14 Southword No 15