Go to:

Fool For Poetry Chapbook Competition

Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition



Fool For Poetry International Chapbook Competition
(Annually from mid-January to end of May)

Fool For Poetry


Announcing the 2016 winners:

Congratulations to winners John Mee & Maya Catherine Popa!


Two further chapbooks by Róisín Kelly & Paul McMahon
to be published in our 'New Irish Voices' series

Catherine Maya PopaJohn MeeRoisin KellyPaul McMachon


There was a 25% increase in entries to this year's Fool for Poetry competition and the standard was extremely high. We will be posting a list of the 12 shortlistees and the many highly commended on munserlit.ie soon. But we can announce now that the overall winner this year was John Mee from Cork who won the Patrick Kavanagh Award just last year.

Runner-up was New York-based Maya Catherine Popa - a previous winner of the Gregory O'Donoghue Prize. Both John and Maya are debutantes and we are very proud to be issuing their first solo publications at the launch of the Cork International Poetry Festival next February.

Our chapbook list will be augmented by a 'New Irish Voices' series. In November we will publish debutant chapbooks by Belfast-born, Munster-resident poets Roisin Kelly and Paul McMahon. Thank you to everyone who entered and to James Harpur, Thomas McCarthy, Leanne O'Sullivan and Matthew Sweeney who judged the final 12 manuscripts shortlisted by Patrick Cotter - anonymous all the way.


The 2016 Shortlist
(listed alphabetically by manuscript title)

Bare, Daisy Radevsky (United Kingdom)
Bourdon, Paul McMahon (Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland)
Dodger, Kevin D. Kinsella (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
From the Extinct, John Mee (Cork, Ireland)
If Not Savior, Emily Holt (Seattle, WA—USA)
Love & A Loaded Gun, Emily Rose Cole (USA)
One Blow Breaks These Floorboards, Shaun Gardiner (Orkney Islands, Scotland, UK)
Queer Reptile: My Zoology, Anne Young (Dublin, Ireland)
The Bees Have Been Canceled, Maya Catherine Popa (New York City, NY—USA)
The Kissing Gate, John Wheway (United Kingdom)
The Narrow House, Daniel Conor Murphy (Wilmington, MA—USA)
The Secret Poet, Darren Donohue (Co. Kilkenny, Ireland)


2016 Highly Commended Titles
(listed alphabetically by manuscript title)

A Smell Of Horse, Hugh O’Donnell (Dublin, Ireland)
An Arc Through Innocence, Frank Dullaghan (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Archaeology & the Beast, Julia Rose Lewis (Massachusetts, USA)
Away With Low Slung Moon, Patricia Percival (Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Back Against the Knell, Kierstin Bridger (Colorado, USA)
Behind Enemy Lines, Bennet McNiff (Drogheda, Co Louth, Ireland)
Bourdon, Paul McMahon (Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland)
Cold Affection, V. Joshua Adams (Louisville, Kentucky, USA)
Diorama, Pam Thompson (Leicester, UK)
Flat Line, Paul McMahon (Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland)
Hatchment, Richard Hawtree (Surrey, UK)
Here birds are, Art Allen (Oxford, UK)
How Young We Were Then, Cathy Donelan (Ballinasloe, Co Galway, Ireland)
If This Had Been A Real Emergency, Kathryn Guille (Ireland)
I Make the Path by Walking, Rose Malone (Sallins, Co Kildare, Ireland)
Jamaican Honeymoon, DG Geis (Houston, Texas, USA)
Jesus by the Jukebox, the End of America, and the Whiskey of the Damned; Dante Di Stefano (Endwell, New York, USA)
Kin Types, Luanne Castle (Paradise Valley, Arizona, USA)
Mausoleums, Sadie McCarney (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
Me Mum Kissed Me Dad in the Back of That Mosque, Atar J Hadari (UK)
Modern Conversational Arabic, Bernadette McCarthy (Carrigadrohid, Co Cork, Ireland)
On dating serial killers, and other hitches to modern-woman living; Bryanna Liccardi (Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA)
Orange, Dreaming; KT Landon (Reading, Massachusetts, USA)
Picasso’s Women, Jo Burns (Miltenberg, Germany)
Pike In A Carp Pond, Pnina Shinebourne (London, UK)                                                                                          
She charts the geography of longing, Libby Hart (Elwood, Victoria, Australia)
Spider Web In A Death Row Window: poems for Constance Markievicz, Kathryn Guille (Ireland)
Stoic, Mara Adamitz Scrupe (Philadelphia, USA)
The Boat Rope, Tista Austin (Cambridge, UK)
The Elegy Season, Matt Hohner, (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
The Juliet Shoulder, Kathleen Balma (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)
The Last of England, Stephen Devereaux (Liverpool, UK)
The Panic Inside the Stars, Gianmarc Manzione (St Petersburg, Florida, USA)
The Threshold of Light, Michael S. Glaser (St Mary’s City, Maryland, USA)
Under Surveillance, Michael Farry (Trim, Co Meath, Ireland)
Vermächtnis, Jo Burns (Miltenberg, Germany)
View from Montenotte, David Murphy (Ireland)
Ways of Seeing, Phelim Kavanagh (Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, Ireland)
WTF, Laura Foley (South Pomfret, Vermont, USA)




Two winners will each have their manuscript published, receive €500 in cash and fifty complimentary copies of their chapbook.

The Fool For Poetry Competition is open to new, emerging and established poets from any country BUT at least one of the winners will be a debutante (with no chapbook or book published previously). 25 - 50 other entrants will be publicly listed as highly commended.

Manuscripts must be sixteen to twenty pages in length, in the English language and the sole work of the entrant with no pastiches, translations or 'versions'. The poems can be in verse or prose. Each chapbook is guaranteed a review in Southword Journal.

The winning chapbooks will be published in February 2016 with striking cover designs, ISBNs, barcodes and will be offered for sale internationally through our own website, Amazon, and selected independent book sellers. The winning poets will be considered for the 2016 Cork Spring Poetry Festival programme and have their chapbooks entered for the UK Forward Prize for best poem and anthology. An entrance fee of €25 will be charged for each manuscript. Entrants may enter more than one manuscript. For full details consult www.munsterlit.ie in December. The winners will be selected by a panel chosen by the management board of Southword Editions.


Winning Poets from previous years

Buy the winning chapbooks from 2015


Victor TapnerTania Hershman

2015 winners Victor Tapner & Tania Hershman





The Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Prize

Open for submissions September to November annually

Closing date: November 30


Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Prize

painting © R. Noonan


The Munster Literature Centre holds an annual competition for an international poetry prize for a single poem, named in honour of a late Irish poet long associated with the Centre.

The Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize will have a first prize of €1,000 (approx $1326.70 USD/ £799.94 GBP @ xe.com on 21st August 2014), a week's residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and publication in Southword Literary Journal. The MLC will subvent travel costs for the winner up to €600 and provide hotel accommodation and meals for three days during the Cork Spring Poetry Festival.

There will be a second prize of €500, third prize of €250, and ten runners-up will each have their poems published in Southword and receive Southword’s standard fee of €30.

The winners were notified in late January 2015. Due to the large volume of entries, the judge will not be able to notify the authors of non-winning poems or give individual feedback. A shortlist was posted on our website and on social media in late January and the winners were announced during the Cork Spring Poetry Festival.
If you would like to receive the shortlist by email, please sign up for our email newsletter by visiting http://www.munsterlit.ie . Simply enter your email address into the 'Email Newsletter' form.


How to enter the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition

Winning Poets from previous years


Breda Wall Ryan

2015 Winner Breda Wall Ryan

Cork International Poetry Festival

14 - 17 February 2018

Cork International Poetry Festival