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New Irish Voices
Poetry chapbooks by
Roisin Kelly & Paul McMahon



Liberty Walks Naked
by Maram al-Masri, trans. Theo Dorgan



Chapbooks by Fool for Poetry
Competition Winners 2018

Not in Heaven by Molly Minturn
Bog Arabic by Bernadette McCarthy




Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes





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Southword 15

Welcome to Southword number seventeen, the second issue to appear exclusively online. Issue sixteen received close to thirteen thousand hitsa coverage unmatched by many of the best distributed print journals.  I feel this large response vindicates our decision to move away from print publication. The savings we have made on print costs have enabled us to make modest increases in payments to contributors (That’s right folks, unlike many other web journals we pay!) and devote more financial resources to our other services to authors and readers.


Issue 17 presents the winners and runners-up of our 2009 Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition. We had over 650 entries and the competition was fierce. Once again the Americans have dominated proceedings even if the winner turns out to be a US-based Britoncongratulations to Alexa Beattie and thanks to judge Philip Ó Ceallaigh whose last issue as fiction editor this is. Fiction editor for 2010 will be Tania Hershman a woman with her fingers on the very pulse of the contemporary short story by not only being a published short story author herself but also the publisher of the world’s leading short story review outlet: www.theshortreview.com.


James Harpur has put together an excellent selection of poets with national and international reputations as well as a number of poets just starting out. Martin Espada will be a featured author at our Cork Spring Literary Festival in February 2010 and we publish here for the first time a marvellous essay of his where sense of place converges with political commitment in contemporary writing, bringing to our attention many exciting lesser-known voices from the New World.


Southword maintains its constitutional commitment to its publisher The Munster Literature Centre, not only through retaining Munster-based editors and including Munster writers in its list of international contributors but also by providing one of the most comprehensive review outlets for Munster authors. We review exclusively Munster authors and others who have been closely associated with our endeavours. This issue also includes a review of past fiction editor Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s new short story collection. The fact that this is in many cases the first or only review outlet for a Munster author proves how crucial it is.


Innovations in this issue include a photography section featuring photos by the renowned John Minihan of authors attending our 2009 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival. We have also decided to put online, key texts from back print issues of Southword. Our first excerpt from the archives is a story by James Lasdun which has subsequently appeared in his latest book. You will find a link to purchase James’s book at the end of the story if you feel tempted.


The next issue of Southword will be in March and will be an extra supplementary issue consisting of more book reviews, a translated short story by our 2009 writer in residence Su De and the lauded entries to the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition. First prize is 1000 euro in cash and a trip to Cork to read your poem at the opening of the Cork Spring Literary Festival February 17th-20th.  Other writers featured at this festival include Jennifer Johnstone, Derek Mahon, Mary Leland, Bernard O'Donoghue, Mary O'Malley, Conal Creedon; Americans Martin Espada and Adam Johnson; Michael Coady, Paula Meehan and many others. Finally we are “launching” this issue of Southword at the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin on Tuesday December 15th at 7pm. The website will be projected onto a large screen and a number of contributors will be there to read their work. Also to be launched on the night is the latest Irish issue of www.poetryinternational.org; poet and Dedalus Press editor Pat Boran is featured and will read from his work on the night.



Patrick Cotter


The Munster Literature Centre



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