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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





David Marcus

David Marcus was born in Cork in 1924. He was educated at St. Mary's Shandon and Presentation Brothers College, Cork. He then studied Law at University College Cork and at Kings Inns where he qualified as a barrister.

In the city of Cork he created some of the most influential publications in the Irish literary world. In 1946 he started the magazine, Irish Writing, with Terence Smith, then a sub-editor with The Cork Examiner. The publication was encouraged by Seán Ó Faoláin and contributions came from every significant Irish writer of the period. The magazine ceased publication in 1954. After a sojourn in London, Marcus returned to Ireland in 1968. He founded and became editor of the New Irish Writing pages in The Irish Press. This page helped Marcus to promote Irish short story writers, whose work he has always encouraged. In 1948 he founded the quarterly magazine, Poetry Ireland, which still survives. It was the first verse magazine to be published in Ireland. He was known for encouraging and publishing a variety of writers, early on in their careers, from Edna O'Brien to Patrick McCabe.

In 1953, his translation of the famous Irish poem 'The Midnight Court' was published by Dolmen Press. This poem was written in 1780 by Brian Merriman and is one of the most important satirical contributions to Gaelic literature. Its theme is the celebration of a woman's right to sex and marriage. Marcus also achieved acclaim for his translations of Seán Ó Faoláin's poetry.

In 1954 he wrote his first novel, To Next Year in Jerusalem. It concerned the life of a Jewish community during the War of Independence. It is set in the area known as 'Jewtown' (Albert Road) in Cork City in the early 1920s. A Land in Flames, published a year later, focuses on the political trouble besetting Ireland in the early part of the 20th century.

David Marcus also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Who Ever Hear of an Irish Jew and has edited over 30 anthologies of Irish poetry and short stories, including the Faber Book of Best New Irish Short Stories. Additionally, in 2007 Dolmen Press published Marcus's Lost & Found: Collected Poems. In 2008 David Marcus was honoured by a tribute to him, hosted by William Wall in Dún Laoghaire.

David Marcus passed away on the 9 May 2009 and is survived by his wife, novelist and Aosdána member, Ita Daly and his daughter, Sarah.


Author Links

David Marcus (Irish Writers Online)

David Marcus (Wikipedia)

Memorial article in The Irish Times



Words Ireland

The Munster Literature Centre
is a constituent member
of Words Ireland.




The Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Gregory O Donoghue

Deadline: 30 November




Frank O'Connor
Short Story Fellowship

30 November 2017

Marie Helene Bertino
2017 Fellow:
Marie-Helene Bertino




Cork International
Poetry Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Annually in spring.




Fool for Poetry


Molly Minturn &
Bernadette McCarthy !


Seán Ó Faoláin
Short Story
Competition 2017

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition

Louise Nealon!




Southword Editions

on sale in
our bookstore


including Fool For Poetry
winners, the New Irish
Voices series & more






Read all the latest issues
of Southword journal
online here


Poetry International

Recent additions:

Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin
Kimberly Campanello
Justin Quinn
Brendan Cleary
Eleanor Hooker

& more




The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Annually in September






The Munster Literature Centre

Frank O'Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Ireland.

Tel. (353) 021 4312955 Email

Irish Registered Charity No.12374