About the festival:

Munster Literature Centre


The Munster Literature Centre has been holding spring literary festivals since 1993, having gone by the names Éigse and Cork Spring Literary Festival in the past. It was renamed The Cork Spring Poetry Festival in 2012, to reflect the focus in poetry programming, which is always popular with Cork audiences. The Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize for a single poem was introduced in 2010, in honour of a late Irish poet long associated with the Centre. Readers at the Cork Spring Literary Festival have included Ilya Kaminsky, August Kleinzahler, Darcey Steinke, Brian Turner, Dan Rhodes, Jo Shapcott, John Hartley Williams, Yang Lian, Andres Ehin, Mary Morrissey, Patrick Galvin, Alan Titley, Mary Leland, Kerry Hardie, Medbh McGuckian, Mary O'Malley and Conal Creedon among many, many others.



February 2012 Readings


Readings at the Cork Spring Poetry Festival


Go to readings on: Wednesday * Thursday * Friday * Saturday

Download a PDF of the Festival Brochure (702 kb)




Rosemary Canavan & Noel Monahan reading
(Wine Reception)

Rosemary Canavan at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalNoel Monahan at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalWednesday, 15 February at 7.00pm
The Metropole Hotel, Cork
Tickets €6 (€5 concession)



Rosemary Canavan was born in Scotland in 1949 and now lives in County Cork. She has published two poetry collections: The Island (Story Line 2004) and Trucker’s Moll (Salmon 2009). Other publications include children’s books, translations of French short stories and anthologies. She has been Poetry Editor for Southword. Awards include a Hawthornden Fellowship, a bursary in Literature from the Arts Council of Ireland and residencies in Cork and Kerry.

Noel Monahan has published five collections of poems, all with Salmon, the most recent is Curve of the Moon in 2010. Among his awards are the Seacat National Poetry Award, the Allingham Poetry Award and the Kilkenny Prize for Poetry. His poetry has been translated into Italian, Romanian and French and has appeared in many anthologies, most recently texts for the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate state exams. He is co-editor of Windows Publications.


Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill & Thomas McCarthy reading

Nuala Ní Dhomnaill at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalThomas McCarthy at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalWednesday, 15 February at 9.00pm
The Metropole Hotel, Cork
Tickets €6 (€5 concession)




Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill was born in 1952 and grew up in the Irish-speaking areas of West Kerry and in Tipperary. She studied at University College, Cork, and now lives in Dublin. She has published four collections of poems in Irish, An Dealg Droighin (1981), Féar Suaithinseach (1984), Feis (1991) and Cead Aighnis (1998); and four collections of her poems with translations into English by, among others, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Paul Muldoon. She was Ireland Professor of Poetry (2002-2004).

Thomas McCarthy was born in County Waterford in 1954 and educated at University College, Cork. He has published eight collections of poetry (most recently The Last Geraldine Officer), two novels and a memoir. He has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the American-Irish Foundation’s Literary Award, and the O’Shaughnessy Prize for Poetry. He has worked for Cork City Libraries since 1987. He is a member of Aosdána.

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Greg Delanty & Aifric Mac Aodha reading

Greg Delanty at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalAifric Mac Aodha at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalThursday, 16 February at 7.30pm
The Metropole Hotel, Cork
Tickets €6 (€5 concession)




Greg Delanty was born in Cork, Ireland in 1958, and now lives for most of the year in America, where he teaches at St Michael’s College, Vermont. He was awarded the Austin Clarke Centenary Poetry award in 1996 and won the UK National Poetry Competition in 1999. His Collected Poems was published by Caracanet in 2006. His next volume, The Greek Anthology Book XVII, will be published in Autumn 2012.

Aifric Mac Aodha was born in Dublin in 1979. Her first collection, Gabháil Syrinx (The Capture of Syrinx) was edited by Pádraig Ó Fiannachta and published by An Sagart in 2010. She is the Irish-language poetry editor of Comhar and The Stinging Fly. At University College, Dublin, she studied Old Irish and Modern Irish. Her profound knowledge of the Gaelic tradition, as well as Greek mythology, has influenced her work.


Elisa Biagini, Paddy Bushe & Fiona Sampson reading

Elisa Biagini at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalPaddy Bushe at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalFiona Sampson at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalThursday, 16 February at 9.00pm
The Metropole Hotel, Cork
Tickets €6 (€5 concession)



Elisa Biagini, born in 1970, lives in Florence. Biagini has published six poetry collections, most recently Nel Bosco (2007). Her work is included in many anthologies both in Italy and the United States. She has translated into Italian Sharon Olds, Lucile Clifton, Alicia Ostriker amongst others and her own work has been translated into many languages. She teaches Creative Writing and literature in American Universities in Italy and abroad.

Paddy Bushe, born in Dublin in 1948, now lives in Kerry. He writes in both Irish and English, and has published eight collections of poetry, the most recent of which is To Ring in Silence: New and Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2008), a bilingual volume. A new collection, My Lord Buddha of Carraig Éanna, will be published by Dedalus in the spring of 2012. He is a member of Aosdána.

Fiona Sampson’s most recent books are: Rough Music (Carcanet, 2010), Common Prayer (Carcanet, 2007; shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, poem shortlisted for a Forward Prize), and Writing: Self and Reflexivity (with Celia Hunt; Macmillan, 2005). She has been widely translated, with eight books in translation. She has received the Newdigate Prize, writers’ awards from the Arts Councils of England and Wales and the Society of Authors and, in the United States, the Literary Review’s Charles Angoff Award.

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Kerry Hardie, Taja Kramberger & Gregory O’Brien reading

Kerry Hardie at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalTaja Kramberger at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalGregory O'Brien at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalFriday, 17 February at 7.30pm
The Metropole Hotel, Cork
Tickets €6 (€5 concession)




Kerry Hardie has published five collections of poetry, the most recent being is Only This Room. Her Selected Poems was published by both Gallery and Bloodaxe in 2011. She has also published two novels, and is working on a third. Her work has been widely anthologised and translated. She has won many prizes, including the Friends Provident National Poetry Prize &, the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry. She is a member of Aosdána.

Taja Kramberger, born 1970, is a poet, essayist, and translator. She works as a university lecturer and researcher. She has published nine books of poetry: seven in Slovenian, one in German and one multilingual (Mobilizacije/ Mobilisations/ Mobilizations/ Mobilitazioni, 2004). Her poems have been published in numerous literary anthologies and journals in Slovenia and abroad. She is a regular guest of international poetry festivals.

Born 1961, Gregory O’Brien is a Wellington-based poet, artist, essayist, curator and art writer, who has published numerous books in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Carcanet has published two of his titles: Days Beside Water and News of the Swimmer Reaches Shore. A new book of poems, Beauties of the Octagonal Pool, is forthcoming. In recent years O’Brien has produced poetry in collaboration with composers, photographers, painters and the fashion designer Doris De Pont.


Daragh Breen, Mary Dalton & Nathalie Handal reading

Daragh Breen at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalMary Dalton at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalNathalie Handal at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalFriday, 17 February
at 9.00pm
The Metropole Hotel, Cork
Tickets €6 (€5 concession)



Daragh Breen (b. 1970) lives in Cork. He has published two collections to-date, both with November Press. Across the Sound in 2003, and Whale in 2010. His work has appeared widely in Irish literary journals, including Poetry Ireland, The Stinging Fly, Cyphers, The SHOp and Cork Literary Review. In 2005 he took part in Poetry Ireland’s ‘Introductions Series’. In 2001 he won The Sean Dunne Festival National Poetry Award.

Mary Dalton has published four books of poetry, most recently Merrybegot which won the 2005 E.J. Pratt Poetry Award. Red Ledger was named as one of The Globe and Mail’s Top 100 Books of the Year in 2006. Her new book, Hooking, is due out in 2013. Dalton is Professor of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s.

Nathalie Handal is an award winning poet of Palestinian ethnicity living in the USA. She has published four poetry collections, most recently Love and Strange Horses and Poet in Andalucia. Handal is the editor of The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology and co-editor of Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond. She has been involved either as a writer, director or producer in over twenty theatrical or film productions worldwide.

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Neil Astley & Being Human contributors reading

Neil Astley in the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalBeing Human featured at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalSaturday, 18 February at 2.30pm
The Metropole Hotel, Cork
Tickets €6 (€5 concession)




Neil Astley is editor of Bloodaxe Books, which he founded in 1978. His books include novels, poetry collections and anthologies, most notably the Bloodaxe Staying Alive trilogy: Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004) and Being Human (2011). His other anthologies include the DVD-book In Person: 30 Poets. He has published two novels, The End of My Tether, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award, and The Sheep Who Changed the World. He received an Eric Gregory Award for his poetry and was given a D.Litt from Newcastle University for his work with Bloodaxe Books. He lives in Northumberland. (Photo © Pamela Robertson-Pearce)

Being Human is the third book in the Staying Alive poetry trilogy which has introduced many thousands of new readers to contemporary poetry. The range of poetry here encompasses hundreds of thoughtful and passionate poems about living in the modern world; poems that touch the heart, stir the mind and fire the spirit; poems about being human, about love and loss, fear and longing, hurt and wonder. There are more great poems from the 20th century as well as many recent poems of rare imaginative power from the first decade of the 21st century.

Gregory O'Donoghue winner & Prebooked Poetry Reading

Suji Kwock Kim wins the Gregory O'Donoghue Prize 2012Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry PrizeSaturday, 18 February at 4.00pm
The Metropole Hotel, Cork
Free to attend. Ticketless event.



Gregory O'Donoghue Prize winner Suji Kwock Kim will be presenting a full reading, followed by eight poets in our prebooked reading event.

Suji Kwock Kim was educated at Yale College; the Iowa Writers' Workshop; Seoul National University, where she was a Fulbright Scholar; and Stanford University, where she was a Stegner Fellow. Her first book of poems, Notes from the Divided Country (Louisiana State University Press, 2003) was chosen by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2002 Walt Whitman Award.

The eight poets have yet to publish a full collection, but in demonstration of the high standards for this line-up four of the poets are already signed-up for their debut collections. Cork-based Paul Casey and Afric McGlinchy have collections due later this year from Salmon and Corkwoman Mary Noonan has a collection due from Dedalus. Paula Cunnigham from Belfast is a winner of the £5,000 Hippocrates Poetry Prize. Rory Johnston is a septuagenarian from Waterford and a recent graduate of the MA in Creative Writing course at W.I.T. Donna Sandahl Sorensen is a British-born Dublin resident who received a commendation from the 2011 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Competition. Louis Mulcahy is from Kerry and is better known in many circles as a potter. He has a collection forthcoming from An Sagart in 2012. West Cork-based Alyn Fenn has been writing since 2005 and has won several short story competitions.


Katie Donovan, Damir Šodan & Patrick Warner reading

Katie Donovan at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalDamir Šodan at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalPatrick Warner at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalSaturday, 18 February at 7.00pm
The Metropole Hotel, Cork
Tickets €6 (€5 concession)



Katie Donovan was born in 1962 in County Wexford. She has published four books of poetry, all with Bloodaxe, most recently Rootling: New and Selected Poems (2010). She is co-editor, with Brendan Kennelly and A. Norman Jeffares, of the anthology Ireland’s Women: Writings Past and Present. She is the author of Irish Women Writers: Marginalised by Whom? (Raven Arts Press, 1988, 1991). With Brendan Kennelly she is the co-editor of Dublines (Bloodaxe, 1996), an anthology of writings about Dublin.

Damir Šodan, born 1964, is a Croatian poet, playwright and translator. He has published three volumes of poetry, amongst others, he has translated the works of Raymond Carver, Charles Simic, Leonard Cohen, Denis Johnson, Charles Bukowski and Richard Brautigan. His poetry has been frequently anthologized, and translated into a dozen languages. He has edited several anthologies.

Patrick Warner was born in Claremorris, Co. Mayo in 1963. He immigrated to Canada in 1980 and since then has lived mostly in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He has written three collections of poetry: All Manner of Misunderstanding (2001), There, there (2005) and Mole (2009). He is twice winner of the E.J. Pratt Poetry Prize. In 2011 he published a novel, Double Talk. He works as a special collections librarian.


Gregory Orr & Billy Ramsell reading

Gregory Orr at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalBilly Ramsell at the Cork Spring Poetry FestivalSaturday, 18 February at 8.30pm
The Metropole Hotel, Cork
Tickets €6 (€5 concession)



In 1947, Gregory Orr was born in Albany, New York. He is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including How Beautiful the Beloved (Copper Canyon Press, 2009); Concerning the Book that is the Body of the Beloved (2005); The Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems (2002) He is also the author of a memoir, The Blessing (Council Oak Books, 2002), which was chosen by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the fifty best non-fiction books the year, and three books of essays, including Poetry As Survival (2002) and Stanley Kunitz: An Introduction to the Poetry (1985).

Billy Ramsell was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1977 and educated at the North Monastery and UCC. Complicated Pleasures, his debut collection, was published by the Dedalus Press, Dublin, in 2007. He has been shortlisted for a Strong Award and a Hennessy Award. He lives in Cork, where he co-runs an educational publishing company. In 2012 he takes up the editorship of the Irish domain on www.poetryinternational.org .

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