Category Archives: News

Four Irish authors, Booker and Pulitzer winners on Dublin Literary Award longlist:

Colum McCann, Joseph O’Connor, Anne Griffin, Eibhear Walshe in for €100,000 prize



Libraries worldwide have nominated four Irish authors, two Booker Prize winners and a Pulitzer Prize winner for this year’s €100,000 Dublin Literary Award.

The longlist, which was announced this morning, includes 18 novels in translation with works nominated by libraries from 30 countries. It features 49 novels, including 10 debuts, significantly down on last year’s record of 156 titles, a consequence of the pandemic shutting libraries and a tightening of entry rules.

The Irish titles nominated are: Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor, Irish Novel of the Year in 2019; When All Is Said by Anne Griffin, the bestselling Irish debut of 2019; The Trumpet Shall Sound by Eibhear Walshe, a coup in particular for Somerville Press, the only Irish publisher on the longlist; and Apeirogon by Colum McCann, which was longlisted for last year’s Booker Prize. McCann won the award in 2011 for Let the Great World Spin.


Niamh Twomey in the Irish Independent!


Congratulations to UCC Creative Writing graduate Niamh Twomey  who had two poems recently published in the Irish Independent.

Niamh Twomey is a writer from Co Clare, currently living in northern France. Her work has most recently appeared in the Ireland Chair of Poetry Commemorative Anthology, as well as journals such as Crannóg Magazine and Boyne Berries. She holds a BA in English and French and an MA in creative writing, both from University College Cork.


Niamh, pictured below reading at the West Cork Literary Festival in 2019.


after Anna Héloïse (Gérard) Matisse, mother of Henri Matisse


My mother bore me Cadmium yellow

to brighten my sick room;

Burnt Sienna, Cobalt blue

like the sky above Le Cateau-Cambrésis.

Vermillion, Carmine, red

as blood bursting through skin.

Rose Madder like the depths of a pearl.

That day a seed was planted

somewhere among the beets.

All at once a kernel broke,

roots plunged heart-wards,

a Milori green shoot

pierced the canvas of my world

and I began to paint.



Laura McKenna’s new novel – Sunday Independent Glowing Review

Congratulations to Laura McKenna for her first review- a few lines quoted below !

Compelling tale of revolution, freedom and friendship

Words To Shape My Name

Laura McKenna

McKenna’s impressive debut novel takes an interesting slant on this fascinating subject by filtering it through the lens of a “slave narrative” which Lord Edward’s sister Lady Lucy FitzGerald coerced “faithful Tony” into writing, in order to salvage the lord’s reputation and good name after the doomed rebellion. “The family wanted to present Lord Edward in a pretty light, not as a traitor, so they could all get his confiscated money and land back.” It is in the liminal space between his official account and McKenna’s vivid reimaginings that the dramatic energy resides, providing us with a thought-provoking meditation on the nature of freedom and belonging.

MA in Creative Writing poets at Ó Bhéal!



Each February, Ó Bhéal presents poets and short fiction writers engaged in UCC’s MA Creative Writing programme, who read from their new work.

Peggy McCarthy is completing the M.A. in Creative Writing at U.C.C. this year. Born near Skibbereen in West Cork, she’s lived most of her life in Waterford city. She worked as a primary teacher for many years. She enjoys the great outdoors. She’s had poems published in the Fish Anthology 2020 and Hold Open the Door.


Lauren O’Donovan is a Cork born poet currently completing her creative writing masters at UCC. She was recently featured at the Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer Festival’s New Voices Showcase for Poets, and at the 2020 Bookends Conference poetry panel. Lauren is an organizer of Debarra’s Spoken Word literary events, where she has also appeared as a guest speaker. Lauren is looking forward to appearing as a guest poet at Not the Time to be Silent, later in 2021.


Róisín Leggett Bohan is currently studying for her MA in Creative Writing in UCC, Cork. A writer of Short Stories and Poetry, she is moved by the bravery that lies within vulnerability. Her writings have been published by the Amsterdam Quarterly, Eyelands Press, Cork County Library and Visual Verse. She received a notable mention in the Cúirt New Writing Prize for Poetry 2020.


Daniel Galvin is from County Cork. His writing has been published in The Moth, Honest Ulsterman, Acumen, The West Texas Literary Review, Rock and Sling and Ofi Press Mexico. He came first place in the Spoken Word Platform at Cúirt International Literary Festival 2017 and won the May 2017 Sunday Slam in Dublin. Daniel was also shortlisted for the Red Line Poetry Competition 2018. He is currently completing an MA in Writing at University College Cork.


Kornelia is a bilingual poet and artist, who hopes to explore more languages to develop the depth of their work. They were raised in Poland and moved to Wexford, Ireland during childhood. They have completed an undergraduate degree in The Study of Religions & Philosophy, at University College Cork, and are currently enrolled in MA Creative Writing. Kornelia is interested in the unseen and writes extensively on the themes of search, love and awareness. Their poetry is predominantly displayed in an abstract and surreal manner

UCC writers keep up the College’s proud creative tradition

From Today’s Irish Examiner and well done to Danny, Lara, Mark, Joy, Jack and all of those involved!

Among the writers involved in UCC’s Sonder magazine were Lara Ní Churrín, Mark O’Leary, Joy Curtis and Jack Roche.

A group of writers based in UCC have created a new publication to showcase their output. Sonder has been released by the writers from the Cork college’s School of English after months of lockdown-related delays.

“We initially came together as a group in 2019, in a workshop run by the then writer in residence Danny Denton,” explains editor Lara Ní Churrín. “The workshop lasted six weeks or so, and in it we worked together, peer-reviewing each other’s work, and analysing texts, under Danny’s guidance.

“When the workshop was finished, Danny suggested that we keep meeting as a group, and he helped us to find a room in which we could work, and it was his idea that we create some kind of publication. He was very encouraging, and very helpful in securing funding.”

The cover image is striking, while the layout of the collection itself is also impressive.

“The cover image was designed by group member E Monroe. They had expressed an interest in designing the cover from the beginning, and I am not one to stand in the way of someone’s talent! I think that’s a really important part of working with people – understanding when other people know more than you and trusting them, giving them space to do their thing.

“It was the same with the designer, Joy O’Leary – I had seen some stuff that Joy had done, and I knew that she was good, so I sent her the cover image, and trusted her to do the rest.”

Sonder follows in a rich tradition of writers and poets involved with UCC, as residents, lecturers, and graduates, from contemporary voices like Kathy D’Arcy and Doireann Ní Ghriofa, to veterans like Theo Dorgan, the late John Montague and many others. While the collection was very much a DIY exercise in many respects, Ní Churrín discusses the supports the university has offered the project.

Lara Ní Chuirrín, editor of Sunder. Lara Ní Chuirrín, editor of Sunder.“Danny was our main point of contact with the university. They were very kind and supportive, obviously extremely kind in funding this, and in having such faith in us, in our abilities as writers.

“It feels great to have that support, and to feel like we’re some way aligned with all the fantastic, talented writers and poets who have passed through this campus.”

All proceeds from sales of the physical edition go to the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI), providing assistance for people in Direct Provision. Ní Churrín discusses the importance of outreach to those in the system

UCC English Online Reading Series 2021

Our 2021 online reading series commenced on Wednesday 3rd February, at 6 pm, with Kevin Barry talking about his new collection of short stories That Old Country Music 

Kevin Barry is the author of the novels Night Boat To Tangier, Beatlebone and City of Bohane. He has also written three short story collections, That Old Country Music, Dark Lies The Island and There Are Little Kingdoms. His stage credits include the plays Autumn Royal, There Are Little Kingdoms and Burn The Bad Lamp, along with a half-dozen radio plays for RTE and the BBC. His screen credits include the feature Dark Lies The Island and several short films. He has won the IMPAC Award, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the BBC Northern Ireland Drama Award, and many others. He has been translated into 18 languages, and his stories and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Harpers, and elsewhere. He is the co-editor and publisher of the annual anthology Winter Papers. He lives in County Sligo, Ireland


Forthcoming events in this exciting series will include ….


Wednesday 17th February,  Seán Hewitt

Credit  Matthew Thompson

Wednesday 10th March Eimear Ryan, UCC  Writer in Residence 2021

Danielle McLaughlin, Wednesday 24th March.


Wednesday 31st March Sandra Beasley

Credit Andrew Lightman

Wednesday 14th April  Nuala O’Connor.

credit Una O’Connor



28th April Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe


Credit Gillian Hyland

Poetry Competition: Frederick Douglass – Past, Present, Future

Poetry Competition:
Frederick Douglass –
Past, Present, Future

Poems should reflect upon Douglass’s work in some way; writers
may wish to consider his time in Ireland or, more generally, his
social activism and fight for equality. Poems should be 40 lines
maximum (not including the title) The winning submission will be showcased during the events of #Douglassweek, where
internationally acclaimed actor Roger Guenveur Smith will
perform a reading of the winning poem.
The winner will also receive a €100 gift voucher for Vibes and
Scribes bookstore.

The closing date for submissions is January 7th, 2021.
Entries should be sent to, with the
subject line “#DouglassWeek Poetry”

Submission: January 7th,
2021 | 11PM (CET)

Join Eibhear Walshe and Nuala O’Connor on Tuesday 5th January

DATE Tuesday Jan 5th

TIME  3pm NY /  8pm  Ireland


Zoom Event