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








ann egan
Ann Egan, a multi-award winning poet, has held many residencies in counties, hospitals, schools, secure residencies and prisons. Her books are: Landing the Sea (Bradshaw Books); The Wren Women (Black Mountain Press); Brigit of Kildare (Kildare Library and Arts Services); and her latest is 2012’s Telling Time (Bradshaw Books). She has edited more than twenty books including The Midlands Arts and Culture Review (2010). She lives in County Kildare.










If I have memories of porridge,

what are they? Can I recall them?

It is a summer’s evening.

Dust flies busily about,


lays an unwanted sheet

on wildflowers in the ditch.

Leaves are well powdered,

like laughing ladies going to


dance the hall’s mysteries.

Summer has been long, heavy.

Well water is all dried up.

My brother drives the tractor,


I perch on the trailer’s back,

like a  returned swallow on wire.

We go to the river, soon a portable

pump is throttled into being.


It belts out pipe music in gushes

of notes into the barrel,

they hit the iron base like raindrops

pelting time on the hayshed.


Pace is set with precision

of first dance and ladies dwell

in beauty’s camouflage all evening.

Unlike leaves besmirched in dust


that hide and curl into the bank,

they waltz, have a mineral, keep

in groups on their side of the hall.               

Barrell’s song rises in comfort,


water sits on the halfway mark.

Music quickens now, rhythm set,

women and men dance, and swirl,

floorboards sway with thrills.


Last dance is called, water reaches

the top, my brother places

a forked stick to settle the surface.

The dancers part in patterns


conferred by chance or charm.

Guided by moats of dusk,

music pounding in blood’s flow,

they leave in laden cars of chat,


cycle silhouettes, or stroll the slow mile.

We have our barrel’s fill.

My brother drives to The Moor,  

fills the cattle trough with magic.


Evening stars fold light,

dancers tell their stories.

Hungry as wearied waltzers

we settle in customary places


around the old kitchen table,

our chat all about the pump’s power,

twigs and puzzles of gravity.

Before each of us our mother


places a bowl of porridge,

steams its story, surface unbroken,

golden as river shadows when

the pump ceased throttling.


We shake silvered sugar on

the top, see crystals disappear.

We grasp the jug’s homely handle,                  

pour milk, heavy in clotted cream,


across the feast, blessings of fields.

Rapt in communal silence,

we spoon our first mouthful.




©2014 Ann Egan


Author Links


Telling Time: Ann Egan at Bradshaw Books

Landing the Sea: Ann Egan at Bradshaw Books

Four poems by Ann Egan in Senior Times






©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