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








Gerry Boland

Gerry Boland is a poet, short story writer and a children’s author. His first collection of poems, Watching Clouds, was published by Doghouse Books in June 2011 and he is working on his second collection now. A children’s trilogy, A Rather Remarkable Grizzly Bear, was published in 2011 and 2012 by O’Brien Press. The first in the series, Marco Moves In, was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award in the Junior Children’s category. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications and he is currently looking for a publisher for a collection that is ‘ready to go’. He has had two travel books on Dublin published, the most recent of which was Stroller's Guide To Dublin (Gill & Macmillan, 1999). Gerry lives in north Roscommon where he works in a community organic garden and teaches creative writing in schools throughout the northwest. He has just been appointed as Writer-in-Residence for Roscommon.



2nd Prize in the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition


in the space between



the pillow wears the round indent of your absent head


you have walked out on me many times

always I was at the door waiting when


a long time later

you would come back


I have one foot on the grass

one on the carpet beside our bed


somewhere in the space between

is where I spend my nights


listening to the distant city exhaling

its citizens to the suburbs


to here

where we live


this morning I awoke in a warm bed

turned to inhale your sweet breath


took hold of your hand and squeezed it

opened my eyes to find myself alone


you read me like I read the clouds

but better


you know me as I know you

but better


you leave me as you always leave me


©2013 Gerry Boland


Judge's Statement

In second place, the runner-up, is ‘in the space between’, a superbly controlled and uncannily paced study of damaged, continuous attachment. The wonderful first line ‘the pillow wears the round indent of your absent head’ is bettered only by the closing, novelistic noir statement ‘you leave me as you always leave me’. The repetition of ‘but better’ in the closing couplets is a master stroke and could only have been engineered by a highly sophisticated poetic talent. Here is a dramatic, traumatic, relationship, with the narrator cast in the role of Robert Graves’ ‘good angel’ and, therefore, constantly waiting for the return of the one true carrier of value. Here is a soul with one foot on the grass and one foot at the bedside, torn between the ‘inside’ of survival and the outside of ‘yearning.’ This is one of the best, and certainly one of the most heart-wrenching, love poems that I’ve read in the last few years.



Author Links


Watching Clouds at Doghouse Books

Marco Moves In at O'Brien Press

More by Boland in Southword Journal







©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