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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Leila ChattiLeila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and received her MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. The recipient of awards from Narrative Magazine’s 30 Below Contest, Nimrod Journal's Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry, and the Academy of American Poets, her work appears in Best New Poets 2015, Narrative, North American Review, Cimarron Review, Indiana Review, and elsewhere.








After Another Attempt at Eighteen

Of Love, Sappho Wrote

Portraits of Leila Chatti by Margaret Creedon O'Shea





After Another Attempt at Eighteen




I keep the door open. It has been three days

and I do not want to be left alone here, lowered


into the tub like a grave plot,

my body before me.


Gathered on the rim, witnesses, mourners:

plastic dinosaur, matchbox car, row of green soldiers


gripping their guns. My brothers used to play

with these during baths, submerging then raising


them—triumphant—in their fists.

My mother made them bathe together


so they would not drown: if one went under

the other could pull him up or call out.


Her sister died alone, body flooded with smoke. Before this,

my aunt and I would sit in the tub facing


each other like reflections, water gone cold, white bellies

prickled with gooseflesh, the dent in the center gathering


its dark pool. Cupped in her palms, the water like dirt;

handfuls poured over my head.


The tub is still. I topple the toys from their perch,

the men crouched and bracing, the car plunging into the deep.


I sink beneath. The water rises, every drifting thing

disturbed. I surface again and they dip, shiver.







Of Love, Sappho Wrote



sweetbitter—and of course


the tongue is the muscle

of heartache, the one


which defines as separate

territories of the body—


throat and lip and ridge

of pelvic bone, nipple pink


as dawn in the mouth—

I have tasted


surfacing your garland

of hair, salt, you have come


to my well and drank—

if again you leave


leave fully, for

the return is grief


of an acute kind—

last we touched


summer pulsed

like a fever, I fed you


blackberries in bed,

dark swallows


of sweetness—you stained

my body


with each kiss




©2016 Leila Chatti



Portraits of Leila Chatti by Margaret Creedon O'Shea,
drawn during the 2016 Cork International Poetry Festival

Leila Chatti by Mags O'SheaLeila Chatti by Mags O'Shea two



Author Links


Leila Chatti homepage

Selection of Leila Chatti poems at Narrative

'Ode to Ugly Things' at Poets.org







©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