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







Simon Williams

Simon Williams has written poetry for the last 40 years, starting when at university, studying engineering. A Place Where Odd Animals Stand (Oversteps Books, 2012) is his fourth independently published collection and He/She (Itinerant Press, 2013) his fifth. Simon makes a living as a factual writer and has co-led many poetry and creative writing workshops and classes, including in schools, colleges and prisons, as well as a number of collaborative projects with other poets and musicians. He performs widely, from individual readings to performance poetry events. He has been known to sing. Follow him on Twitter @GreatBigBadger.




Highly Commended in the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition



House by a Burmese Lake


This photo shows

four people in a long, thin rowboat,

sailing past the balustrades.

Another, probably more recent,

shows the fence marking the boundary

and the balcony repainted.


There’s a flagpole, or perhaps an aerial,

high above a tiled roof

that could be pantiles, more likely wood.

A third shot shows the driveway;

a raised wing on pillars over the entrance

to keep all visitors, any visitors, dry.


Behind the silver glass lake

the daft American swam –

no, wait, that’s not fair,

he wouldn’t have known the effect

a swim could have and they

would surely have found another pretext –


behind that lake,

between it and the tree canopy,

are the birds, flying in and out:

the Asian brown flycatcher,

the red-billed, blue magpie,

Temminck’s Tragopan.


It doesn’t take 15 years

to know a house, even with

a garden to walk and birds to catalogue.

It doesn’t need two open gates

to watch the zebra dove

fly high out, over the trees.



©2013 Simon Williams


Judge's Statement

Myth is the arrangement of the incidents and no myth comes as finally arranged as the images in a photograph. The intriguing final stanza of this poem is what lifts it away from mere narrative into a world of poetic speculation. It doesn’t take 15 years, nor does it take two open gates, to become open to the world as it changes. History changed, one feels, after this photograph, as did the destiny of ‘Burma.’ This is a very fine poem, a work that has great power not only through what is said but what is left undescribed.



Author Links


Simon Williams website

'The Great Big Badger': blog by Simon Williams

'Goats': poem by Williams on the ArtsCulture blog

Buy Williams' most recent collection He / She







©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