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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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Munster Literature Centre









2016 Cork International Poetry Festival

10 - 13 February

Ticket sales have been strong. Early arrival to buy tickets at the door highly recommended!


Cork International Poetry FestivalReaders include Kyle Dargan, Paisley Rekdal, Ailbhe Darcy, Caitriona O'Reilly, Gerard Smyth, David O'Meara, Bronwyn Lea, Aidan Murphy, Thomas P. Lynch, Matthew Sweeney, Vona Groarke, John McAuliffe, Michael Coady, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Liam Ó Muirthile, Paul Casey, Afric McGlinchey, Tomica Bajsic, Thomas McCarthy, Louis de Paor, Gerry Murphy, Deryn Rees-Jones and Tom Pickard.


Visit corkpoetryfest.net for more information.




Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Prize Results

2016 Winners

Leila Chatti


These poems will be published in the April 2016 issue of Southword Journal

More information will be given at a later stage about the winners. but here quickly are the results of this year's competition. We realise many of you will want to submit elsewhere for December 31st deadlines and speedy delivery of this news will be beneficial.. There were almost 2000 poems entered so competition was stiff. But standards were so high I decided to increase the number of published "Highly Commended" poems from ten to twenty-five. I will publish a detailed judge's summation on my blog in the new year. In the meantime I would like to thank everyone who entered. We are a registered charity and your entry has helped us to keep Southword free for readers and provide publication fees for authors.
--Patrick Cotter

First Prize
‘After Another Attempt at Eighteen’
by Leila Chatti, West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA

Second Prize,
‘The Invisible Man’s Blind Date’
by Michael Derrick Hudson, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA

Third Prize

‘Different Kinds of Life’
by James O’Sullivan, Cork, Ireland

Highly commended – in alphabetical order:
‘Sindhura, Andalusia’ by Amanda Bell, Dublin 6, Ireland
‘Of Love, Sappho Wrote’ by Leila Chatti, West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA
‘Gull Egg Season’ by Stephanie Conn, Ballyclare, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland
‘Flood’ by Marie Coveney, Monkstown, Co Cork, Ireland
‘A Stay in North Carolina’ by Kelly Creighton, Newtownards, Co Down, Northern Ireland
‘Our Recurring List of Heartbreaks’ by Jonathan Greenhause, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
‘Perfect’ by Michael Fleming, Brattleboro, Vermont, USA
‘The End of St. Barbara’ by Eithne Hand, Ireland
‘A Calling’ by Eleanor Hooker, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, Ireland
‘Loch na Fuaiche’ by Theophilus Kwek, UK
‘Aristotle’s Lantern by Anthony Lawrence, Kingscliff, New South Wales, Australia
‘Mary Daly’ by Simon Lewis, Crossneen, Carlow, Ireland
‘Solace at the P.O.’by Sandy Longley, Delmar, New York, USA
‘From a Hauptbahnhof Café in Berlin by Terry McDonagh, Swinford, Co. Mayo, Ireland
‘The Cure for the Burn’ by Paul McMahon, Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland
‘How to Construct the Hero of a Western’ by Jennifer Militello, Goffstown, New Hampshire, USA
‘As Much As A Letter’ by Emily Mohn-Slate, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
‘Looking West from Iona’ by Valerie Nieman, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
‘Photograph, Painting, Poem’ by Mary O’Donnell, Maynooth, Co Kildare, Ireland
’10.30 to Severn Beach’ by Elizabeth Parker, Bristol, Avon, UK
‘A Little off the Top’ by Laura Jan Shore, New Brighton, New South Wales, Australia
‘Oranmore’ by Peter Stuart-Sheppard, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
‘Call Her Ghazal’ by Devon Walker-Domine, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
‘Taking Soup’ by Glen Wilson, Portadown, Co Armagh, Northern Ireland
‘Bloodsuckers’ by Mary Woodward, St Albans, UK





The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit organisation; all moneys raised from the competition benefits writers and writing.






Previous articles and information available on the Archives page.




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Words Ireland

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




Cork International
Poetry Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

10 - 13 February



Writing Workshops
at the MLC

Gerard Smyth




O'Donoghue Poetry

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition

Winners to be
in January.




Southword Issue 28

Southword Journal

New issue, free to read online.




Southword Publications

Victoria Kennefick

Newest books:

Fool For Poetry
chapbooks by
Victoria Kennefik
& Virginia Astley



Poetry International

Recent additions:

Kimberly Campanello
Justin Quinn,
Brendan Cleary,
Eleanor Hooker
& more





Fool for Poetry


Now closed.
Thanks to those
who entered!



The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Annually in



Frank O'Connor
Short Story Award

2015 Laureate:
Carys Davies

Carys Davies

World's richest prize for
a short story collection,
co-sponsored by the
UCC School of English
Cork City Council

Seán Ó Faoláin
Short Story

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition

Now closed!
Thank you to
everyone who



The Munster Literature Centre


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

Tel. (353) 021 4312955 Email munsterlit@eircom.net

Irish Registered Charity No.12374