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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





Published annually, the Best of Irish Poetry anthology series present the best Irish poems, in both English and Irish, published in the previous year. Selected from a pool of several hundred published candidates, these represent the top fifty poems of the year. Best of Irish Poetry / Scoth na hÉigse is indispensable for every poetry enthusiast.



best of 2007
Best of Irish Poetry 2007

Southword Editions, 2006.
Editors: Colm Breathnach and Maurice Riordan

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Includes works by Eavan Boland, Colette Bryce, Moya Cannon, Harry Clifton, Michael Davitt, Gerald Dawe, John F. Deane, Greg Delanty, Paul Durcan, Leontia Flynn, Eamon Grennan, Vona Groarke, Kerry Hardie, Seamus Heaney, Rita Ann Higgins, Biddy Jenkinson, Thomas Kinsella, Nick Laird, Michael Longley, John McAuliffe, Tom McCarthy, Derek Mahon, Dorothy Molloy, Patrick Moran, Paul Muldoon, Gerry Murphy, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Nuala Ní Dhomnaill, Gréagóir Ó Dúill, Catríona O'Reilly, Gabriel Rosenstock, Matthew Sweeney, Richard Tillinghast, David Wheatley and many others.



best of 2008


Best of Irish Poetry 2008
Southword Editions, 2007.
Editors: Thomas McCarthy and Bríd Ní Mhóráin

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Includes works by Ciaran Carson, Pádraig J Daly, Gerald Dawe, Louis de Paor, Greg Delanty, Theo Dorgan, Vona Groarke, Kerry Hardie, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Kinsella, Seán Lysaght, Medbh McGuckian, Derek Mahon, Paula Meehan, John Montague, Gerry Murphy, Ceaití Ní Bheildiún, Áine Ní Ghlinn,Mary O'Donnell, Bernard O'Donoghue, Dennis O'Driscoll, Liam Ó Muirthile, Leanne O'Sullivan, Billy Ramsell, Cherry Smyth, Gerard Smyth, William Wall, David Wheatley, Enda Wyley and many others.



best of 2009


Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Southword Editions, 2008.
Editors: Paul Perry and Nuala Ní Chonchúir

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Includes works by Ciaran Carson, Harry Clifton, Vona Groarke, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Thomas McCarthy, Medbh McGuckian, Derek Mahon, Paula Meehan, Sinead Morrissey, Paul Muldoon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Bernard O'Donoghue, Dennis O'Driscoll, Liam Ó Muirthile, Leanne O'Sullivan and others.



Best of Irish Poetry 2010

Best of Irish Poetry 2010
Southword Editions, 2009.
Editor: Matthew Sweeney


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Includes works by Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon, Michael McKimm, Leanne O'Sullivan, Leontia Flynn, Eva Bourke, Kerry Hardie and many others.




**Special Offer 3 for 2**

Buy Best of Irish Poetry Anthologies 2007, 2008 and 2009

for the price of two!

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Read all the latest issues
of Southword journal
online here


Visit our Youtube channel
to view events from
previous festivals and more

Words Ireland

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


Seán Ó Faoláin  Short Story Competition 2018


Judge Paul McVeigh

Read the 2017 winning story by Louise Nealon


The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Wednesday Septmeber 12-
Saturday September 15 2018


The Cork International
Poetry Festival


Wednesday March 27-
Saturday March 30 2019


The 2018 Southword Fiction
Chapbook Competition
is now accepting entries.
Deadline 30 September



The 2018 Fool for Poetry
Chapbook Competition
is now accepting entries.
Deadline 30 June



Southword Editions

on sale in
our bookstore


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



The Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Gregory O Donoghue

This year's winner is Rob Lipton
whose poem will be published
in the next issue of Southword

The competition will reopen
for submissions in
September 2018



Frank O'Connor
Short Story Fellowship

2018 Fellow Carys Davies



Poetry International

Recent additions:

Michelle O'Sullivan
Paddy Bushe
Doireann Ní Gríofa
Paul Casey







The Munster Literature Centre

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

Tel. (353) 021 4312955, Email: munsterlit(AT)eircom(DOT)net

Irish Registered Charity No.12374