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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Mike GallagherMichael Gallagher was born on Achill Island, worked in London for forty years and now lives in Lyreacrompane, Co. Kerry. His poetry, prose and songs have been published in journals and anthologies throughout Europe, America, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, Thailand and Nepal. His work has been translated into Croatian, Japenese, Dutch, German, and Chinese. His short stories have been long-listed by both RTE and BBC. He won the 2010 Eigse Michael Hartnett Viva Voce Competition and was shortlisted for the 2011 Hennessy Award. In 2012 he won the Desmond O'Grady International Poetry Contest. He has also edited a number of poetry and prose books and is editor of thefirstcut, an online literary journal. His poetry collection Stick on Stone was launched at Listowel Writer's Week in 2013.









Sunday Read: Cill Rialaig


A glossy picture of Rubaya:

just a place where miners toil for pence.

They dig in descending steps

down to Congo's brown-red core,

each step is eight foot long by eight foot wide

by nine foot deep (this last dimension

decreasing the chances of decapitation).

Their quarry: coltan, a rare commodity used in

mobile phones and computers,

its high market value lures the usual jackals

the multinationals, other criminal gangs,

corrupt politicians, fat cats

each comfortable with their greed,

each steadfast in their right to make slaves of others.


But what of us, the workers, the drones,

Capital's little helpers, the oilers of its grinding wheels?

What of us, the teachers of false values,

too scared to say when enough is enough;

false preachers of acceptance

too snug to say that This is wrong;

pseudo Coms and cuter Cons

debating shades of pink and blue

at overladen tables;

politics’s scum still plucking the poorest

to feather their own soft-centred nests?


But what of us, the locust tribe

devouring all before it,

leaving nothing in our wake? What of us.

consumers of the latest fad,

the brands, the trinkets, the tosh,

bloodied by lost fingers of some child slave in Bangladesh,

or the last polluted gasp of a peasant in China or India,

or the soil-stenched sweat of an African miner?

What of us? Do we care? Do we care at all?

Driven by our greed, surrounded by our clutter,

do we count the cost to our fellow men?

Do we rate them above our poodles?


Are we not, all of us, jackals in our hearts,

some slightly uncomfortable?



©2014 Michael Gallagher



Author Links


Six poems by Michael Gallagher in the Galway Review

Purchase Stick on Stone from Limerick Writers' Centre


Poetry readings by Michael Gallagher (YouTube)






©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