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

Create your badge






Arts Council



Cork City Council



Foras na Gaeilge



Cork County Council







Mary O'DonnellMary ODonnell is a poet, novelist and short-story writer. Her poetry titles include such as The Place of Miracles, Unlegendary Heroes, The Ark Builders, and in 2015 Those April Fevers. She also wrote the best-selling literary novel The Light-Makers, Virgin and the Boy, The Elysium Testament, Storm over Belfast and Where They Lie. She has has worked in journalism, especially theatre criticism. In 2010 she has co-edited a book of translations from the Galician (To the Winds Our Sails, Salmon Poetry). She presented and scripted three series of poetry programmes for RTÉ Radio, including a series on poetry in translation during 2005 and 2006 called Crossing the Lines and taught creative writing at Maynooth University, and worked on the faculty of Carlow University Pittsburghs MFA programme in creative writing for eleven years.

A response from Inpress Books UK to her recent collection Those April Fevers: "This sharp, distinctive collection soars like verse and sings with a unique emotional intensity. Decisive. Ruthless. Brilliant."




Photograph, Painting, Poem




I wanted to show the world my lettuces

and broad beans, their hopeful, sweet green,

fresh from the garden in July.


The lettuce lay unwashed,

leaves crimped like the hems of fancy skirts,

while some of the beans nestled unzipped


in a blue colander. But the ones I’d released

tumbled on a wooden board, like embryos

in jade. Straightaway, I uploaded


a picture onto Facebook, so friends could note

such trumpeting lettuce, such demure beans.

Halfway across the world, Rita pressed Like,


then painted the lettuces and beans.

Now, my photograph and her art shimmer

together, shifts of white and sage-green


show how young the beans that day

before lunch, when we just sat and talked

and a block of polleny sunlight on the kitchen floor


deceived us, saying the world was right,

and good, unfolding as it should.

I bought Rita’s painting. Today in the kitchen,


my lettuces and broad beans hang hopeful

as winter draws in.




©2016 Mary O'Donnell



Author Links


Mary O'Donnell homepage

Mary O'Donnell at Arc Publications

'Those April Fevers': poem by Mary O'Donnell in the Irish Times

More by Mary O'Donnell in Southword Journal







©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