The Lit Review |98| Literary Hub for Ireland


New Irish Poetry Journal Launches

Cork appears to be emerging as a literary hub for Ireland (which I like to half-jokingly, half-seriously attribute to Graham Norton – maybe I’ll look into this…), as a new poetry and arts journal is set to launch this week. The Well Review, named after the Sunday’s Well neighbourhood in Cork City, has been put together by designer Christian Carley and editor Sarah Byrne, who say that they “wanted to create something that reflected our own mixture of wanderlust and love of Cork, a condition which afflicts many people living in this city.”

The title of the journal reflects the inspiration drawn from the unique Cork neighbourhood, which “has many avenues and within them you may encounter Cork City Gaol, a former Magdalene Laundry and the partially derelict Our Lady’s Hospital on the adjacent Lee Road – it’s hard to find another neighbourhood in Cork where so much has happened in such a small physical space.”

Carley and Byrne have said, and the journal project is their “attempt to poke around its draughts and drafts, to imagine what we cannot experience first-hand.” Although based in, and inspired by Cork, the journal is more worldly in vision and scope.  The journal will launch at the Cork International Poetry Festival and be distributed in Ireland, England, France, Germany, Spain and the US, as well as the first issue featuring work from poets and artists from ten countries. Issue one contributors such as Maram al-Masri, Theo Dorgan and Matthew Dickman, who are also appearing at the festival, will read at the launch, in addition to Cork-based writers Cal Doyle, Gerry Murphy, Mary Noonan and Martín Veiga. The journal launched today, 16th February at 5pm in the Cork City Library.

Readers Have Been Imagining Mr. Darcy All Wrong

In celebration of their Jane Austen season, the tv channel Drama commissioned two professors to create a historically accurate representation of Austen’s most famous love interest – and it has really pissed fans off. Mr. Darcy is one of literature’s most loved leading men and he is notably always played by tall, dark-haired, handsome actors, with Colin Firth’s portrayal in the 2005 film adaptation. The professor  of Modern English Literature and a professor of of Early Modern History that were commissioned by the channel factored in  the socio-economic and cultural factors of the time, as well as investigating Austen’s personal life and relationships and drawing conclusions on who may have been the inspiration for Mr. Darcy in their study. Both have caused irreparable damage to the fantasies of millions by revealing that the beloved heartthrob would have actually had:

  • mid-length white hair
  • a long oval face with a small mouth, pointy chin and long nose
  • pale complexion – pink and white skin
  • slender sloping shoulders and modest chest
  • large quads, thighs and calves
  • a height of 5ft 11″ (in comparison to Colin Firth’s 6ft 2″)

Apologies for any romantic and/or post-Valentine’s sentiments I may have destroyed with this news.


As I’ve mentioned, the Cork International Poetry Festival kicked off this week and runs util the 18th, with readings from poets such as Eleanor Hooker, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Nikola Madzirov and Matthew Dickman being held at key locations around Cork City with many of the events being free.


The deadline for the Maria Edgeworth Literary Poetry Competition 2017 is next Friday, 24 February. The competition is held anually to commemorate Maria Edgeworth, an Anglo-Irish writer of adult and children’s literature. She was one of the first realist writers in children’s literature and was a significant figure in the evolution of the novel in Europe. There is a €5 entry fee, with cash prizes of €250 for first place, €75 for second place and €50 for third place. Find details here.

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