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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





Desmond O'Grady


Born Limerick, 1935. Poet, professor, Harvard teaching fellow, editor, translator, Aosdana member. Widely travelled, O’Grady left his Limerick home in the 1950’s to teach in Paris, Rome and America. Reputed not only for his seventeen collections of poetry and his linguistic prowess, O’Grady was a founding member of the European Community of Writers. After taking his doctorate at Harvard, in the USA, he taught at the AmericanUniversity in Cairo. Organizer of the Spoleto International Poetry Festival and former European editor of The Transatlantic Review, O’Grady’s collections include Chords and Orchestrations (Limerick 1956), Reilly (London 1961), Separazoni (Rome 1965), The Dark Edge of Europe (London 1967), The Dying Gaul (London 1968), Hellas (Dublin 1971), Separations (Dublin 1973), Stations (Cairo 1976), Sing Me Creation (Dublin 1977), The Headgear of the Tribe (Dublin 1979), The Skaldcrane's Nest (Dublin 1979), Alexandria Notebook (Dublin 1989), Tipperary (Galway 1991), and My Fields This Springtime (Belfast 1993). Fluent in numerous language, his translations include Off Licence (Dublin 1968), The Gododdin (Dublin 1977), A Limerick Rake (Dublin 1978), Grecian Glances (Cambridge MA 1981), The Seven Arab Odes (London 1980), Ten Modern Arab Poets (Dublin 1992), Alternative Manners (Alexandria 1993), Trawling Tradition (Salsburg 1994), and CP Cavafy, Selected Poems (Dublin, Dedalus, 1999). He currently resides in Cork.  


The Wide World


Author Links

Desmond O'Grady (Irish Writers Online)

Desmond O'Grady Interview (Poetry Salzburg)

Review by Desmond O'Grady

'The Headless Body': O'Grady poem in Southword

Desmond O'Grady Biography at Princess Grace Irish Library



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