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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Arts Council



Cork City Council



Foras na Gaeilge



Cork County Council








Afric McGlinchey

The 2010 winner of the Hennessy Award for Emerging Poetry, Irish-born Afric McGlinchey was educated at Rhodes University and the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her poems have been published in a number of journals, including Acumen, Magma, Poetry Ireland Review, Wordlegs, Southword, Revival,  Tears in the Fence, The  Sunday Tribune, Scottish Poetry Review, Crannóg and The SHOp. She was also a prizewinner, longlisted and shortlisted for several other competitions. She writes fiction and poetry reviews, edits manuscripts for The Writers’ Consultancy, and is a poetry tutor at www.creativewritingink.ie. Afric lives in Kinsale, Co Cork.







Journey of a Birthstone


My father laid them on the table,
offering me first choice:
its pure light, ice-rink smooth,
seduces the eye into a multi-
mirrored whirlwind of blazing crystals;

triangles offering
a third opinion.
From every angle, lightnings glide,
like a compass with forty norths,
a captured star.

I think of its birth, deep beneath
the Drakensberg, source of the Orange
river, then slipstreamed west to Namibia’s
long Atlantic shore, strong pull of current
leaving alluvial deposits

on drowned terrace, pocket beach,
bedrock gully, wind corridor
hand-picked by smugglers,
or divers sweeping the seafloor,
ferrous gravels

jigged by suction hose and pump, seeking
this tear of the gods, the brilliance
of its beauty fitting, as far back
as Exodus, for the breastplate
of judgment.

This, my birthstone,
her perfect aphrodisiac;
neglected in my possession,
hidden during conflict days,
almost, as with her, abandoned.

Last days together, laughing
at childhood memories,
taking her hand on a hospital bench,
twisting the ring on her too-
thin finger.

I twist it now, on mine

twirl my tongue over its cool surface,
until it sparks a different view

and something in its light, a fleck,
reflects my mother back.



©2010 Afric McGlinchey



Author Links


Afric McGlinchey home page

'Flight From Ethiopia' by McGlinchey at Story Time

Three poems by McGlinchey in Scottish Poetry Review









©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