Category Archives: News

Christie on song with her sonnets

Christie Kannapel (MA 2018/19) has been busy since she handed in her thesis in September and returned to her native Utah.  Her sonnets  “On the Edge” (the title poem of her thesis) and “The Fall”  were finalists and semi-finalists respectively for the prestigious Atlanta Review’s Dan Veacher Prize for Young Poets. (

Three of her poems, “Little on Shore”, “Tower Ravens” and “Echo”  have been included in Provo Utah’s Poemball Machine initiative. 

And upcoming in December, her sonnet “Almost” will be featured on the Irish-founded cultural website Headstuff in the “New Voices” poetry blog.

Christie was also one of two MA students whose fictional serial, “One Summer in Cork”, appeared in the Echo in July under the Summer Soap banner, an ongoing liaison between the MA’s Writing for Media module and Examiner publications.



Remembering John Rodgers

A memorial book of the late John Rodgers‘ writing, Deadlines,  – a title chosen by John himself  with typical mordant wit – will be launched at this year’s Rostrevor Literary Festival on November 23. 

John was a much admired student on the MA in Creative Writing 2017/18 when he was diagnosed with terminal  lung cancer.  Although he never got to complete his studies, he continued writing, as he had done for over 30 years.  One of the earliest poems in this volume dates back to October 1980; the latest was written on a hospital trolley during his final illness. 

Born in 1957, John worked as a chartered building surveyor for 30 years, many of them in London, before returning to Ireland to settle in Rostrevor, Co Down.  His son Fionbharr and his lifelong friend, Paddy McGuinness, have selected and edited the work that appears in  Deadlines, a publication that had been planned before John got sick.  

Deadlines will be available for purchase at the Rostrevor Literary Festival.


Handel in America : The Trumpet Shall Sound!

Our Director of Creative Writing Eibhear Walshe was in the US last week, reading from his new novel on Handel in Dublin. 

Above, Eibhear, before his reading in Fordham College in New York with Keri Walsh and Cathal Pratt 

With Kevin Kenny and Miriam Nyhan at Glucksman House 


Reading from The Trumpet Shall Sound in Wellesley College in Boston. 

Shortlists and scholarships!

More publishing news from our just past students. 

Molly Twomey (MA 2018/19), pictured,  has been shortlisted  for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Award 2019 with her poem “Atalanta”  while her classmate, Breda Joyce has also made the shortlist for the Words by Water prize for writing in the Irish language with her poem “Slán leis an Airc”. The Words by Water festival in  Kinsale is currently in full force – check it out here – .

Christina Hession, also from our graduating MA class, will appear in the Bangor Literary Journal’s Aspects Issue 10 this weekend with her poem “Dearg Doom”. 

Meanwhile, Fiona Murphy, BA in English graduand, topped off her achievements at last night’s UCC Undergraduate Awards – two prizes, one for an English essay, the other as top-ranked creative writing student – with a long-listing in the Aeon Magazine Short Story Award 2019 for a story she wrote during her third-year fiction workshop under the direction of Mary Morrissy.

Collecting her Eoin Murray Memorial Scholarship prize at the undergrad awards last night was current BA student and Quercus scholar  Rose Keating.  Runner-up for this year’s scholarship  was Molly Twomey, which is where we came in.


Poetry goes down town

We’d love to see you downtown for the first event of the School of English Reading Series on October 8 with a reading by poets Zoe Brigley and Martin Dyar, introduced by our very own Leanne O’Sullivan.

As part of Community Week, and in association with Cork City libraries, this reading will be held off-campus at the Central Library, Grand Parade, Tuesday, October 8, @ 7pm. 

This is a free reading and no booking is necessary. 

Other readers upcoming in the series – John Banville and Billy O’Callaghan (November 5), Danny Denton and Sara Maitland (November 26) and Colum McCann (January 28, 2020).

Zoë Brigley is a Welsh poet, the author of three volumes: Hand & Skull (2019), Conquest (2012), and The Secret (2007), all published by Bloodaxe. She also has a collection of nonfiction essays, Notes from a Swing State (Parthian 2019). 

She won an Eric Gregory Award for the best British poets under 30, and was listed for the  Dylan Thomas Prize for the best international writers under 35. She is currently editing the Bloomsbury Guide to Poetry in the UK and Ireland.

Martin Dyar was born in Sligo and grew up in Swinford MayoHis debut poetry collection Maiden Names (Arlen House) was shortlisted for both the Pigott Poetry Prize and the Shine/Strong Award in 2014. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2009, the Raftery Award in 2006, and the Strokestown International Poetry Award in 2001.

He was the Arts Council writer-in-residence at the University of Limerick last year. 

Culture Night readings

Many thanks to all our great readers for Culture Night in the Creative Zone of the Boole Library. It was a wonderful event, organised by our own Leanne O’Sullivan, with a full house, including many present and past students from the MA in Creative Writing.

Readers included UCC’s Martin Veiga, Mary Noonan, John Fitzgerald, Eibhear Walshe, John Mee, Ailbhe Ni Ghearbhuigh, Tom Moore, James O’Sullivan, Mary Morrissy, and the work of our friend and colleague Graham Allen. Some of last night’s readers are pictured below.

Making their voices heard

MA in Creative Writing graduands are not wasting any time making their voices heard in the  literary world with more exciting publication news this week.

Beau Williams, (2018/19), pictured above, was chosen as one of six poets in the Versify programme in this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival. Versify is the first partnership between Poetry Ireland and the festival and aims to spotlight the “most exciting new voices in Irish spoken word poetry”.

Beau performed at a sold-out event at Poetry Ireland in Dublin’s Parnell Square, last Thursday, and is now on a tour reading his work in venues in Ireland and the US.

Elizabeth Mohen of Poetry Ireland said the quality of entries for this first year of Versify was extremely high. “The six poets are in possession of huge talent and unique voices, and we can’t wait to watch them shine.”

Beau who has just completed his MA is also the 2018-19 All-Ireland Poetry Grand Slam champion.  

Beau’s classmates, poets Breda Joyce and Molly Twomey have been long-listed for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Award 2019 with their poems, “Guardian” and “Atalanta” respectively. They will be part of an event on Culture Night reading at Kenny’s Bookshop and Gallery in Galway on September 20.

Meanwhile, Mairéad Willis, also class of 2018/19,  has had a story “The Entomologist” published in the most recent edition of Crannóg while Christina Hession’s poem “Fighter in a Ball Gown” appeared in Ropes Literary Journal and “ Tuam Baby” is in the forthcoming edition of Boyne Berries.

Congratulations to all!

The write stuff. . .

As we welcome a new group of students on the MA in Creative Writing (now in its sixth year), here’s a roll-call of what our students, recent graduands and graduates have been up to.

Molly Twomey (2018/19) and Dee Collins (2017/18) have fiction in the upcoming Banshee journal. Dee will be reading an extract from “White on Red” at the launch of issue no 9 on Culture Night, September 20, in Waterstones, Patrick Street, Cork.

Dee credits the 2018 Arts Council Writer-in-Residence, Thomas Morris, for the success of “White on Red”. He provided a breakthrough when she was redrafting the story during her MA. Molly’s story, “Massage”, a flash fiction piece, was written for this year’s fiction workshop led by Mary Morrissy.

It’s been a bit of a Banshee takeover as undergraduate Rose Keating, earlier this year named as Marian Keyes Young Writer of the Year, was published in the journal’s last issue in the spring.   

Meanwhile, watch out for Irene Halpin Long, (2018/19,)  a regular contributor to the Echo since  completing the Writing for Media module on the MA, who’ll be interviewing our current writer-in-residence, Danny Denton, in the Echo this coming Friday. 


John Banville appointed as CW professor

John Banville to teach and give readings at UCC this academic year. Photograph: Irish Times

The internationally-renowned writer John Banville will be a Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at UCC for the coming academic year. He will join the School of English and Digital Humanities, where he will contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in creative writing and give two public readings.

John Banville’s appointment is supported by an anonymous philanthropic donation to UCC.

Banville is the author of 17 novels including his early scientific trilogy of Kepler, Dr Copernicus and The Newton Letter as well as the Booker short-listed, The Book of Evidence.   His novel, The Sea, won the Man Booker Prize in 2005. His most recent novel is Mrs Osmond, a continuation of Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady.  He has also written a memoir, a collection of short fiction, travel literature, several plays and film scripts.

He writes detective fiction under the pen name of Benjamin Black.  His work in this genre includes the Quirke series, the first three books of which, Christine Falls, The Silver Swan and Elegy for April,  were televised by the BBC, and The Black-Eyed Blonde, a Philip Marlowe novel commissioned by the Raymond Chandler estate.

His many accolades include the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, and the Ordine della Stella d’Italia.

Banville will join the 2019 Frank O’Connor International  Fellow, the British novelist and non-fiction writer, Sara Maitland, –  – and this year’s incoming  Arts Council/UCC Writer-in-Residence, Danny Denton,  – – who are also on our creative writing team for 2019/20.