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 City Council



Foras na Gaeilge



Cork County Council








John W Sexton

John W. Sexton was born in 1958 and is the author of five poetry collections: The Prince’s Brief Career, foreword by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, (Cairn Mountain Press, 1995), Shadows Bloom / Scáthanna Faoi Bhláth, a book of haiku with translations into Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock (Doghouse, 2004), Vortex (Doghouse, 2005), Petit Mal (Revival Press, 2009), and The Offspring of the Moon, (Salmon Poetry, 2013). He also created and wrote The Ivory Tower for RTÉ radio, which ran to over one hundred half-hour episodes from 1999 to 2002.  Two novels based on the characters from this series have been published by the O’Brien Press: The Johnny Coffin Diaries and Johnny Coffin School-Dazed, which have been translated into both Italian and Serbian. He is also the blog poet Jack Brae Curtingstall. He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem 'The Green Owl' won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007. Also in 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.






Invisible Sister

A Portrait of the Artist as the Second Vatican Council





Invisible Sister


When you were born

I was not born,

for I remained

in Mother’s womb.

Mother claims no knowledge

of my being here

for she is unaware

that she carried me a while longer,

still pregnant with the idea

of a daughter.

Eventually Mother’s womb dried up

decaying like a fallen fruit.

Now I reside in you, little brother,

your unborn twin, curled up

in the coils of your brain;

awaiting my moment to be born,

plotting to assume your form.







A Portrait of the Artist as the Second Vatican Council



... human love is more than ever threatened by a ravaging eroticism ...



          I hold the braided serpent   of your hair   in my mouth



... a Church which speaks every language, understands and embraces all tongues in charity, and thus overcomes the dispersion of Babel ...



          The edge of your tongue   touches the edge   of mine




... to enable them to foster union with Christ in all circumstances of life ...




          Mouths together    we exchange our breath




... the Lord himself came to free and strengthen man, renewing him inwardly and casting out the prince of this world, who held him in the bondage of sin. For sin brought man to a lower state, forcing him away from the completeness that is his to attain ...




          A thin shot of sperm   trembles   in its own light




©2013 John W. Sexton



Author Links


The Offspring of the Moon at Salmon Poetry

Interview with John W. Sexton by Bob Neilson

Poem by Sexton in Burning Bush 2

'Another Anonymous Poet': featured essay at Poetry 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