Welcome to the Munster
Founded in 1993, the Munster Literature Centre (Tigh Litríochta) 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 2006.
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 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 Éigse festival in the spring of each year.
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.
Southword Editions, 2005.
Poems by Katarzyna Borun-Jagodzinska. Translated from Polish by Gerry Murphy.
Here is a Polish poet working well beyond the shadows of Milosz and Herbert. She searches out material in the sacred and the profane and mines both with considerable skill. A generous streak of dark wit is evident even in the least likely of places. After all, anyone who edited a magazine entitled "Temperance and Hard Work" has to have a healthy sense of the absurd. --Gerry Murphy
What the critics have said:
"Borun-Jagodzinska, ably translated with a light touch by Gerry Murphy, has followed Piotr Sommer out of the intensive lyricism and complex Imagism traditional to Polish poetry into the pared-back, post-American style." -The Irish Times
Selected Poems from Pocket Apocalypse
our letters are lost,
as if the postman
could save us…
In a dark room
tenderness yellows with age –
the very letters you carried out
of the burning refinery.
Othello’s First Book
Which came first?
The bitter seed or the shadowy tree?
Bitterness can prepare the way for sweetness,
though the tart seed permeates the apple.
A green-eyed monster already awake,
a worm turning just under the skin.
Love creeps past on tiptoes
so as not to arouse the beast.
So quiet here at dawn,
no one remembers
the squinting window
in the clock face.
even though the clock’s
and the trees creak
under the increasing weight
of the sky.
Copyright ©2005 Katarzyna Borun Jagodzinska
English translation Copyright ©2005 Gerry Murphy
Katarzyna Borun-Jagodzinska, was born in 1956 in Warsaw, and did not, despite considerable efforts, study at the Academy of Fine Art or the History of Art Department of the University of Warsaw. Instead she attended seminars at the Lodz Film School and in 1989 was a participant of the International Writing Program of Iowa University. Her collections include Wyciszemia (Quietenings, 1997), Moly Happening (A Minor Happening, 1979), Zycie Codzienne w Panstwie Srodka (Daily Life in the Middle Kingdom, 1983) and Wiecef – Wiersze o Zmroku (More – Poems at Twilight, 1991). Borun has worked as a messenger, small ads clerks and eventually became an editor on the monthly Temperance and Hard Work.
Gerry Murphy was born in Cork in 1952. His poetry collections include A Small Fat Boy Walking Backwards (1985, 1992) and Rio de la Plata and All That (1993). He has also published two pamphlets – A Cartoon History of the Spanish Civil War (1991) and Dead Cat in Winthrop Street (1994). The Empty Quarter was published in 1995 followed by Extracts from a Lost Log Book of Christopher Columbus (1999) and Torso of an Ex-Girlfriend in 2002. His work has also appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals. His New and Selected was published by Dedalus in 2006. He lives in Cork City.
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The Munster Literature Centre produces the Irish section of this prestigious poetry site. Current featured poets are from Landing Places, the new Dedalus anthology of immigrant poets. For further information, please visit the site at www.poetryinternational.org.
The Munster Literature Centre hosts two annual festivals. The larger Cork City - Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival takes place each September, while the Cork Spring Literary Festival, with varying themes, is presented each spring. Further information is available on our drop down menus.
Workshops in poetry and fiction run in Spring and Winter at MLC. Contact Jennifer for more information.
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