Munster Literature Centre
Ionad Litríochta an Deisceart

John Montague International Poetry Fellowship & Mentorship Bursaries

The Munster Literature Centre announced this initiative in 2018 and it ran until 2020. The fellowship was made possible through the very generous sponsorship of University College Cork. The fellowship acknowledged the special place of poetry in the cultural history and contemporary practice of Cork City. The Munster Literature Centre hosts the largest annual poetry festival in Ireland.

Benefits of the fellowship

The successful fellow benefited from the prestige of receiving a highly competitive international literary award which not only allowed the candidate to spend time concentrating on their own work but also to acquire experience in literary mentoring and the teaching of writing in an academic context. The successful candidate had the opportunity to be inspired by living in one of Europe’s oldest cities, with a well-developed cultural infrastructure and a thriving literary community. The successful fellow received a monthly stipend of €2000, totalling €6,000 and self-catering accommodation. The costs of travel to and from Cork were also be covered.

Duties of the fellowship

The fellowship required the poet to reside in Cork for twelve weeks and find time to work on their own writing. The poetry fellow arrived in late January and departed in late April. The fellow contributed a public reading and a four-morning poetry masterclass as part of the Cork International Poetry Festival. During their twelve week stay they provided a 5-credit workshop with the creative writing department of University College Cork. Their mentoring duties consisted of devoting two hours each, per week, to two Cork poets over eight weeks (32 hours total). They were welcomed into the literary and social life of the city where they had the opportunity to network with resident established writers. They presented a farewell public reading at the Boole Library of University College Cork.

Selection Criteria

The recipient was a poet from outside Ireland of international standing.

Fellowship applications were invited from poets working in English from outside Ireland.

The Poetry Fellow must have had at least two full-length collections of poetry published. The successful candidate was a poet respected by peers and preferably had experience in the coaching or teaching of other writers either through workshops and/or mentoring, inside or outside a formal academic setting.

Mentorship Bursaries

This was an opportunity for two Cork poets to be mentored by the International Poetry Fellow between February and April. Each poet benefited from a weekly two-hour contact session with the fellow over eight weeks. The Fellow chose the successful mentees from all valid applications received.

Previous Fellows

Paula Bohince
2020 Montague Fellow

Sandra Beasley
2019 Montague Fellow

Brian Turner
2018 Montague Fellow