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

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Cork County Council







Cherry SmythCherry Smyth is a Northern Irish writer, living in London.  Her two poetry collections, When the Lights Go Up (2001) and One Wanted Thing (2006), were published by Lagan Press. Cherry’s work was selected for the anthologies Best of Irish Poetry 2008 (Southword Editions) and The Watchful Heart: A New Generation of Irish Poets (Salmon Press, 2009); and has been published in Poetry Ireland Review, Magma and online in nth position and Eyewear.  She was also commended in the 2010 UK National Poetry Competition. She writes for visual art magazines: Modern Painters, Art Monthly, Art Review and Circa. She is Senior Lecturer in Poetry at the University of Greenwich and the poetry editor of Brand Literary Magazine.



Return to the Figure


When most of my father’s friends had died, he began

to build columns of round flat stones. He stood them

by the front door, the windows, as if to harness

companions for the thresholds. They watched the sun pass

with him from the Limavady mountain, over Mussendun,

to the lip of the headlands of Donegal. They were never

spoken to or named, but drew the eye like something

that doesn’t need, yet composes living form, the way one

thing supports another – the head, the neck, the torso –  

or lets it lie along it, like one rested hand resting on another’s. 

Dad wouldn’t call himself a sculptor, but this is art, just as

the Inuit traveller once built stone men at each new bend

of water, upsurge of ground, to extend their home’s

periphery, the touch they’d left behind, so forward steps

are always manned by glancing back. Later travellers

discovering these sentinels felt held in the plural’s

heated hands, believed they could cross the void unharmed.



©2010 Cherry Smyth



Author Links


Cherry Smyth Home Page

'Back to Back': Smyth poem in Eyewear

Brand Literary Magazine

Best of Irish Poetry 2008






©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