2017 Workshops

Matthew Dickman | Brenda Shaughnessy
Thomas McCarthy | Brian Turner | Natalie Diaz | Martina Evans

All workshops run for four days (Wednesday 15 February–Saturday 18 February, 9.30am–12.30pm). If interested in making a booking please contact Patrick Cotter at director(AT)munsterlit(DOT)ie

*Please note that our Four Masters, Four Poems workshop is sold out*



Workshop 1 with Matthew Dickman
Love and Pain: How do we make sense of the wreckage?
(limited to 15 participants, cost €180)



Deeply felt grief and adult erotic love can seem very far apart. But they have something important in common: they both destroy language. So how does poetry make sense of the rubble? In this workshop we will be generating work in and out of class exploring this subject. We will be creating as we are revising, and looking at modern masters who have created language out of experiences that seem to defy language itself. We will all be leaving with four new poems and a deeper understanding of The Self in compassionate living.

Matthew Dickman is poetry editor with the prestigious American journal Tin House

Read about Matthew at the Poetry Foundation website

Interview with Matthew in The Guardian




Workshop 2 with Brenda Shaughnessy
Form (fear, flaw, flight, fight) and Function
(limited to 15 participants, cost €180)




A combination generative and workshop-based course.

In this workshop we will explore how to best turn our deepest lived truths into the strongest and most resilient possible art.  This work is about re-learning how to see, how to listen to ourselves.  It’s about psychologies, trauma, metaphor, formal techniques, imaginative leaps, complex and contradictory feelings, histories personal/political, and about voice: how to find the poetic forms—which are ways—to speak what must be said. How to find the ways to say it powerfully, with as much beauty as we can find.  We will start each session by reading provided poems that illuminate the day's topic, then endeavor to workshop everyone's poems daily. There will be generative exercises, discussion on how aesthetic choices are interconstitutive of and with formal choices, and generous, kind, rigorous support for each poet's contribution and work.

Preliminary task: Bring a short new poem to introduce your work to the class. Introductory poems will be gently discussed and will orient the class to your style, voice, and form.

Day I:  Introduction. Brief workshop and discussion. Topic: Why the Sonnet Works

Day 2: The Functions of Time and the Uses of Memory

Day 3: Sensory Information as Telepathy and Time Travel

Day 4: Histories: How Poetry From Lived Experience Can Change the World

Read about Brenda at the Poetry Foundation website

'I have a Time Machine' by Brenda Shaughnessy in The New Yorker




Workshop 3: Four Masters, Four Poems
with Thomas McCarthy, Brian Turner, Natalie Diaz & Martina Evans
(limited to 8 participants, cost €250)
*sold out*



The high cost of this workshop is down to the fact that it will be a very small class where each participant will have the opportunity to have a different poem scrutinised closely by a different master and the class each of the four days. Participants must submit four poems in advance – each poem nominated for a particular master who will assess the poems before the festival and devote 20 minutes to each of eight poems per day.

Wednesday’s Master Thomas McCarthy
Thursday’s Master Brian Turner
Friday’s Master Natalie Diaz
Saturday’s Master Martina Evans


If interested in making a booking please contact Patrick Cotter at director(AT)munsterlit(DOT)ie



Photo © Mike Hannon

Cancellation policy. Please read carefully.

Please note: After you have paid for the workshop, should you have to cancel for any reason, we will exercise our best efforts to find a participant to replace you. If we can do so, we will refund your tuition payment. If we cannot replace you, we will not refund your tuition payment. The later the cancellation date, the more difficult it is for staff to find a qualified participant. Though we do recognize that emergencies happen, and we will do our best to help you, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to replace you in the event of a cancellation.



Contact Details

Phone + 353 (021)4312955
Email info(AT)munsterlit(DOT)ie
The Munster Literature Centre, Frank O’Connor House,
84 Douglas Street, Cork.




Cork International Poetry Festival

14 - 18 February 2017

Cork International Poetry Festival