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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Fred Johnston

Fred Johnston was born in Belfast in 1951 and educated there and Toronto, Canada. Received Hennessy Literary Award for prose in 1972, judges V.S.Pritchett and James Plunkett. Received Sunday Independent Short Story and Poem of the Month awards in 1981 and 1982 respectively. Has published four novels, eight collections of poetry (including Browne, a long poem, from Lapwing Poetry, and True North, Salmon Poetry, published April 1997), had three plays performed. Most recent novel, The Neon Rose, based in the Paris legal world, was published by Bluechrome to acclaim from The Irish Times. New collection of poetry from Cinnamon, UK, The Oracle Room, appeared October 2007. Orangeman, a collection of stories in French, appeared from Terre de Brume (France) in October 2010. In 2011, his second volume of stories, Dancing In The Asylum, was published by Parthian (UK).  Founder of Galway's annual international literature festival, CÚIRT, in 1986. This year (2013) he received an Arts Council Bursary in Literature.





There she is, poised on the deck stairway

one leg angled forward and an iceberg

like a cracked tooth tilting on her horizon


my father trolled in a Chinese laundry

                   hair slicked like an oil-spill

                   waiting for her ship to come in


you have to hand it to them, their innocence

the war over, it was roses all the way:

when she wanted to come back, he folded

                   up like a dollar bill in a jeans pocket


so for me, the kid who couldn't take it in

nothing to bargain with but helplessness

Canada was cruising me like a virus

                   Ireland was corpse-grey and cold


when they fought it was like drowning

                   you could feel the room break

                   the house torn open and water


rushing through. Down we dived

in a flounder of recrimination, deep

where old bones grate against one another


they'd no buoyancy left, these adventurers

                    yelling for rescue and everything,

                    each year, hope and sinew, beyond salvage.



©2013 Fred Johnston



Author Links


Six poems by Fred Johnston in the Galway Review

Interview with Johnston in the Galway Advertiser

Johnston at Irish Writers Online







©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