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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









Michael Hartnett (1944 - 1999)


Michael Hartnett


Born in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick in 1944, Michael Hartnett, writing both in English and Irish, became one of Irish history’s most celebrated poets. His first collection, Anatomy of a Cliché, was published in 1968 by Poetry Ireland. Three books from New Writer’s Press followed – from the Irish, The Old Hag of Beare (1969), Selected Poems (1970), and Tao (1972), a version of the Chinese Tao Te Ching – and a book, Gypsy Ballads (1973), from Goldsmith Press. In his 1975 book A Farewell to English (Gallery Press) he declared his intention to write only in Irish in the future, three collections in Irish followingAdharca Broic (Gallery Press, 1978), An Phurgóid (Coiscéim, 1983) and Do Nuala: Foighne Chrainn (Coicéim, 1984). Living in the Dublin suburb of Inchicore, 1985 marked his return to English with the publication of Inchicore Haiku (Raven Arts Press), which was followed by three more collections in English from Gallery PressA Necklace of Wrens (1987), Poems to Younger Women (1989), and The Killing of Dreams (1992). He was also translating works of Irish into English, such as Ó Bruadair, Selected Poems of Dáibhí Ó Bruadair (Gallery Press, 1985) and Ó Rathaille, The Poems of Aodhaghán Ó Rathaille (Gallery Press, 1999). Other translation work includes Dánta Naomh Eoin na Croise (Coiscéim, 1991), the poems of St. John of the Cross put to Irish. His Collected Poems appeared in two volumes (Carcanet, 1984 and 1987) and New and Selected Poems was published in 1995 before he died in 1999. He was a member of Aosdána.




Mike Mac Domhnaill


Mike Mac Domhnaill


Mike Mac Domhnaill is from Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick, and writes in both English and Irish.  He is the author of two collections of poems, Mac Baintrí/Widow’s Son (bilingual, from Coscéim) and Macalla Maidu (Coscéim).  His latest book, Sifting (Liberties Press), is a book of short stories in English, from which ‘Uncle Ned’ won RTE’s Francis MacManus Short Story Award in 2013.




Críostóir O'Floinn (b. 1944)


Críostóir O'Floinn


Críostóir O’Floinn was born in Limerick City and is living now in Co. Dublin. He is a bilingual writer, with over 50 works published in Irish and English, consisting of fiction, drama, poetry, essays, as well as translations. His accolades are many and include first prize in all the literary genres of the Oireachtas competitions. His controversial play, Cóta Bán Chríost, was given the Douglas Hyde Memorial Award, and an English version, The Order of Melchizedek, was subsequently produced at the Dublin Theatre Festival. His plays have been produced at the Abbey and Gate theatres in Dublin, at the Lyric in Belfast, and An Taibhdhearc in Galway. On top of his stage plays he has also written many plays for radio and television. His twelve books of poetry include A Poet in Rome, Banana, Van Gogh Chocolates, Aisling Dhá Abhainn, Ó Fhás go hAois, and Centenary, which is a 5,000-line chronicle poem of the history of the GAA.  Recent work includes The Heart Has Its Reasons, a short stories collection, Beautiful Limerick, a compendium, Lóchrann an Dóchais, a biography of Nano Nagle, and an autobiographical trilogy comprising of There is an Isle, Consplawkus, and A Writer’s Life. He is a member of Aosdána.




Gabriel Rosenstock (b. 1949)


Gabriel Rosenstock


Gabriel Rosenstock was born in 1949 in Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, and is currently living in Dublin.  He has written or translated more than 100 books, the majority of which are in Irish.  Rogha Rosenstock, a selection from 10 volumes of his poetry, was published in 1994, and a selection of his children's poetry, Dánta Duitse, was published in 1998.  Other recent titles include the Krishnamurphy trilogy from Coiscéim (Krishnamurphy Ambaist!, Eachtraí Krishnamurphy, and Tuairiscíonn Krishnamurphy ó Bhagdad), the travelogue Ólann mo Mhiúil as an nGainséis (CIC, 2003), the bilingual selection Rogha Dánta/ Selected Poems (CIC), and the bilingual volume Bliain an Bhandé/ Year of the Goddess (Dedalus Press, 2007).  He has also written nonfiction and essays, contributed to various publications.  He appears in the anthology Best European Fiction 2012, and has even written a detective novel, My Head is Missing (2012).  A former chairman of Poetry Ireland, he is a member of several international haiku associations, and holds an honorary life membership of the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association.  His being named as Lineage Holder of Celtic Buddhism inspired the latest offering, Antlered Stag of Dawn (Onslaught Press, 2015), in a series of haiku collections.  He is an honorary member of the European Haiku Society.  He is a member of Aosdána.




Eithne Strong (1925 - 1999)


Eithne Strong


Eithne Strong was born in Limerick in 1925 and wrote poetry both in English and Irish, as well as writing novels and short stories in English. Her poetry collections includes: Cirt Oibre (1980), Fuill agus Fallaí (1983), Aoife fé Ghlas (1990), An Sagart Pinc (1990), Poetry Quartos (1943-45), Songs of Living (1961), Sarah in Passing (1974), Flesh - The Greatest Sin (1980), My Darling Neighbour (1985), Let Live (1990), Spatial Nosing - New and Selected Poems (1993), and Flesh - The Greatest Sin (new edition, 1993). She published a collection of short stories, Patterns (1981), and novels to her name include Degrees of Kindred (1979) and The Love Riddle (1993). In 1991 she won the Kilkenny Design Award for Flesh - The Greatest Sin.  She was a member of Aosdána, dying in Monkstown, Dublin in 1999.






Click below for more Limerick resources:


Literary Limerick and the Cuisle Festival

Limerick Novelists

Limerick Poets



Limerick City Arts Services sponsers Literary Limerick pages at the Munster Literature Centre


The Limerick sub-section authored by Edward O'Dwyer. This subsection has been grant-aided by Limerick City Arts Services






2021 Competitions

Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Deadline: 30st November




Fees-free Poetry Workshop

Application Deadline 15 Dec




2021 Publications

Liz Houchin

New Irish Voices no. 6




Southword 41

November 2021




Aneas 2

November 2021




Southword 40

Includes O'Faoláin Prize stories
& O'Donoghue Prize poems




Felicity Sheehy

Fool for Poetry Winner




Vicky Morris

Fool for Poetry Winner




Queer Love

Fiction anthology




YouTube Videos





O'Faoláin Short Story
Prize Reading Playlist




O'Donoghue Poetry
Prize Reading Playlist




How to Write Titles








Cork Events




Essays & Blogs




Munster Literature Centre
is a constituent member of






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

Tel. (353) 021 4312955 Email info@munsterlit.ie

Irish Registered Charity No.12374