Submit to Southword





New Irish Voices
Poetry chapbooks by
Roisin Kelly & Paul McMahon



Liberty Walks Naked
by Maram al-Masri, trans. Theo Dorgan



Chapbooks by Fool for Poetry
Competition Winners 2018

Not in Heaven by Molly Minturn
Bog Arabic by Bernadette McCarthy




Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes





Munster Literature Centre

Create your badge






Arts Council



Cork City Council



Foras na Gaeilge



Cork County Council







eMaureen Hynes lives in Toronto, Canada. Her book, Rough Skin, won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry by a Canadian. Her fourth book of poetry, The Poison Colour, was short-listed for both the League’s Raymond Souster and Pat Lowther Awards, 2017. Her work has been included in over 20 anthologies, including Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011 and 2016, as well as in The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry, a selection of the 90 best poems from the anthology’s previous nine years. Maureen is poetry editor for Our Times magazine.




Sotto Voce

                                                                                                                           After David Lang's the whisper opera

When you whisper everything, when even

your saxophone whispers its notes, when you just

graze your fingertips across the drumskin for a drumly

quietness, or the words on your page lower their volume

to minimal, when you foreswear aloud

for the everyday language of small rivers (today

the Don is open, free-flowing & black, not closed &

frozen white), when the scratchy hushes under

the thickening ice become fainter & fainter –

when you whisper everything, vows & regrets,

dolce far nientes of love & shame, or just the abundant

mundanities of your life, listeners strain to catch

your watery drift, they follow your eyes. Your breath

is a hand resting on a baby’s bare chest.

After the breath stops, Spicer says, the words listen.

At the end of the evening’s whispering,

an old neighbour said all she could hear

was her mother’s eulogy from twenty years ago.

You are always hearing your own

all the way down past the future,

louder & more audible than murmurs that

go swimming past you as if they were blue fish.




amethyst aubade

softer than amethyst but crystalline & unfamiliar
is waking in the creak    of this borrowed bed with you
the coldest night this winter has scratched

a ferny pointillism on every window   I rise to
photograph glass frostings against the neighbour’s
red brick wall    against the glacier blue sky

against the street’s rooflines    return to your side
show you    cupid’s icy arrows
you put your thumb to my forehead   release

the night visitors   we have both dreamed of our sisters
dawn vanishes slowly   on a february morning
the lovers’ reluctance    to rip open the day’s envelope

accept its wintry directives    we are lucky the day holds
no whips or war wounds   surgeries or life sentences
our displacement settles   we recall who we are

what we must accomplish this day    O valentine
a name with a farewell in it    a salute to worthiness
& departure   juncos appear in dozens at the feeder

ice swells thickly on the inside of the sliding door
I broke my promise to overlook this day’s conventions
accept my paper and chocolate failing    born of love  



©2018 Maureen Hynes



Author Links


Author's website

"Cemetry Road" published in The Puritan

Maureen Hynes' work in The Literary Review of Canada







©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