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Poetry Prize 2020: Results, Short & Long-lists

 

Winners

Short-list

Long-list

 


Winners

Here are the 10 winners, as chosen by judge Billy Collins, to be published in the Fish Anthology 2020

The Fish Anthology 2020 was to  be launched as part of the West Cork Literary Festival  (July 2020), but the festival has been cancelled for 2020.

Top 10 poems will be published in the FISH ANTHOLOGY 2020
1st prize: €1,000
2nd: a week in residence at Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat.
3rd:€200

Billy Collins

Billy Collins

 

Comments on the winning poems are from Billy Collins (below), who we sincerely thank for lending his time and experience to judge the prize.

Congratulations to the ten winning poets and also to the poets whose poems made the short-list of 83, and to the poets who made the long-list of 295. Total entry was 1,952. 

The overall winning poem Father, by Peggy McCarthy (link).
More about the nine winning poets (link)

 

 

 

The Ten Winners:

 

Selected by poet, Billy Collins, to be published in the Fish Anthology 2020

FIRST
Peggy McCarthy (Waterford, Ireland)

Father

Peggy McCarthy

SECOND
Vanessa Lampert (Oxfordshire, UK)

Some Pleasures

Vanessa Lampert

THIRD
Susan Musgrave  (Haida Gwaii, B.C. Canada)

Wild and Alone

Susan Musgrave

 

 

 

HONORARY MENTIONS

 

 

Allen Tullos (Georgia, USA)

Shoegazers’ Companions

Allen Tullos

Celeste McMaster (Charleston, S.C. USA)

Edisto Island, May 2019

Celeste McMaster

Michelle North-Coombs (Queensland, Australia)

Dead Ant

Bill Richardson (Galway, Ireland)

The Taking of Caravaggio

Bill Richardson

Leah C Stetson (Maine, USA)

My Glacial Erratic

Leah Stetson

Angela Long (Haida Gwaii, B.C. Canada)

On Reading Ecclesiastes 5 at St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral

Angela Long

Geoff Burnes (Hampshire, UK)

The Mothers and My Mother Tongue

Geoff Burnes

 

 

COMMENTS FROM JUDGE,  BILLY COLLINS

“Father” by Peggy McCarthy (Waterford, Ireland)
This is a charming and haunting hinge poem, the balanced stanzas devoted to 2 photographs of a father. The poet’s craft and eye for detail act to ground a subject that could turn sentimental in less able hands. On first reading, I wrote “Lovely” in the margin next to the title. On second reading “That it is.”

“Some Pleasures” by Vanessa Lampert (Oxfordshire, UK)
A version of “My Favorite Things” (Coletrane’s is my favorite version of the song), this poem presents us with such an interesting and varied list, there’s no way we can foresee the shocking humor of the last lines. A sparkling exercise in imagination and restraint to a point.           

“Wild and Alone” by Susan Musgrave  (Haida Gwaii, B.C. Canada)
Only the clear-eyed can write soberly of a domestic argument, and here the poet resists theatrics for the ordinary details of the scene, except perhaps for the copy of Lowry flying into the flames. To learn from a mouse is the poem’s quirky but humble settlement.

“Shoegazers’ Companions” by Allen Tullos (Georgia, USA)
Beginning with “jiveboats” and ending on “Pagination Street,” this poem has a little of everything including a list and “alligator clouds bellying” along, but it’s all held together by its tone of sharp-edged humor.

“Edisto Island, May 2019” by Celeste McMaster (Charleston, S.C. USA)
Two English professors doing a jigsaw might sound dull, but not here with the sea shifting in the background and the 1,000 piece puzzle left unfinished. The professorial hand emerges to end the poem with a flood of similes.

“Dead Ant” by Michelle North-Coombs (Queensland, Australia)
A seriocomic meditation on an ant killed by a book. Literature and entomology collide.

“The Taking of Caravaggio” by Bill Richardson (Galway, Ireland)
A compelling defense of the usually indefensible Judas (the felix culpa is its precedent), convincing because of the poet’s reasoning and the precise observations on the physical details of the painting.

“My Glacial Erratic” by Leah C Stetson (Maine, USA)
A very imaginative and engaging poem in which a pursuit of a fictional Emily is caused by a concussion. A mother and a partner (I think) find room here, adding human reality to the literary.”

“On Reading Ecclesiastes 5 at St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral” by Angela Long (Haida Guaii, B.C. Canada)
A meditation, as the title tells us, on the weight of the church measured in granite, until the poem slips into an elegy for a mother, who ends the poem beautifully almost hypnotically with her endless peeling.

“The Mothers and My Mother Tongue” by Geoff Burnes (Hampshire, UK)
A rap poem I wish I could hear maybe in a pub reading, but whose clever and persistent rhymes echo in the head. Plus, a listener at a reading would miss the structure of the poem, a double sonnet that swings in a circle back to its opening line. A perfect answer to the question “Where did rhyming go?” and living proof that vibrant language energy is not incompatible with craft.

 

 

WINNING POEM:

Father

by Peggy McCarthy

Coming in I often pass you in the hallway, in sepia,

your wedding day, June 1955. You couldn’t believe your luck.

And sometimes I stop to catch a trace of something I missed.

Maybe it’s the way the light catches the glass

I think I almost see you clearly

but mostly you give nothing away.

Clear-eyed, upright photo-stance,

a peep of handkerchief in your breast-pocket,

your first and last trip to the photographer’s studio.

Right hand put away behind your back

your left- fingers folded in a fist,

elbow tentatively crooked for your new bride.

 

Going out, I sometimes glance at you again,

this time it’s the other photo, a dozen years after the first.

Your farmer’s grind cast briefly aside,

your brow furrowed, your slack half-smile.

And what do I really know? You were not for turning

from buckets and wells to pipes and plumbing,

from bicycle clips and tilly lamps to motor cars and electricity.

You knew land and fields and the cuckoo’s call.

You said the best part of the potato lies under the skin.

These things hold steady when I pass through

angling to catch a glimpse of something new in the fading

greys and blurry edges of an overcast summer.

 

 

MORE ABOUT THE WINNERS:

Peggy McCarthy is currently doing the M.A. in Creative Writing in U.C.C. and loving the opportunity to spend time with other writers. She was a primary teacher for many years. She loves hiking in the glorious Comeragh Mountains or swimming in the sea!  Born near Skibbereen in West Cork, Waterford City has been home since childhood.

Vanessa Lampert recently completed an MA in writing poetry at Poetry School London. Since she works full time as an acupuncturist, something had to give so she gave up exercise and housework. saying these sacrifices were ‘easy as hell’. She now needs a lie down and a massage after walking up a single flight of stairs. Since lockdown she has hoovered round resentfully and has no plan to repeat this in the foreseeable.

Susan Musgrave writes, “In June, my husband, a writer and retired bank raider, died; in July, my mother, and, in December, my handsome cat, Boo. I don’t have a dog, but if I’d had one, I have no doubt he would have died, too.” When asked for a bio-note that did not, “in the interest of originality,” include details about her pets, she had this to say: “No comment.” (Unique cat videos available upon request.)

Allen Tullos, a professor of history and digital humanities at Emory University, is co-founder of the online journal Southern Spaces and author of two books of American Studies: Habits of Industry: White Culture and the Transformation of the Carolina Piedmont and Alabama Getaway: The Political Imaginary and the Heart of Dixie.   “Shoegazers’ Companions” comes from an in-progress poetry manuscript of memoir, history, and musical ekphrasis.

Celeste McMaster, originally from Arkansas, now lives in Charleston, South Carolina.  She is chair and a professor of the English Department at Charleston Southern University.  Celeste writes poetry and fiction and enjoys yoga, traveling, and learning flamenco dancing.  Lately, Celeste spends time being quarantined with her husband, Jason, and their three bulldogs.  Instead of fretting about the pandemic, she meditates on beach time at Edisto and imagines a first trip to Ireland.

Michelle North-Coombes has lived in South Africa and the UK and now lives on the beautiful Gold Coast in Australia with her husband David. Having never quite recovered from the thrill of seeing her first poem published (aged 8, school newsletter) she continues to write whenever her creative muse co-operates. Otherwise, she can be found shouting at pollies on the telly, beachcombing or working on her rather dissolute family tree. She has a BA (Hons) in Journalism from QUT.

Bill Richardson published some poems as a young man but wrote little during decades of teaching at second and third levels. A native of Dublin, he is now Emeritus Professor of Spanish at the National University of Ireland Galway and has re-engaged in recent years with his passion for creative writing. He enjoys swimming in the Atlantic, reading writers such as John Ashbery and Jorge Luis Borges, and practising tai chi to the music of Arvo Pärt.

Leah C Stetson is from Maine. She writes poetry beside a black-ash seep and a pond. Her writing has appeared in Off the Coast, Red Ochre Lit, and the Fish Anthology 2019. She holds a master’s degree in human ecology, and is a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary PhD program at University of Maine in a tenacious pursuit of deep, Romantic ecology of wetlands. Last summer, Leah had an ‘out-of-body’ experience on the Beara Peninsula in search of the Hag of Beara.

Angela Long writes because she doesn’t know what else to do, in any genre that will have her. Poetry remains her first love though and has helped her stay sane. Ever since the age of 14, when she wrote a sonnet for a stream, she has been hooked. She’s originally from Canada but likes to wander. Right now she’s living in Galicia, Spain.

Geoff Burnes is a writer, editor, musician, erstwhile business consultant, travel addict, environmentalist, opinionated political commentator and general smartarse. He lives with his delightful wife Elizabeth, who has tolerated him for many years, and has no children or pets, because they wouldn’t. For most of his career, he wrote sales proposals and marketing documents, so he has a good grounding in fiction. He now writes mainly poems, short stories, long stories, song lyrics and polemic.

 

 


 

Short-list:

(alphabetical order)
There are 83 poems in the short-list. The total entry was 1,952.

TITLE

First Name

Last Name

Golden Circles

Tylr

 

L’Envoi

Jeannette

Barnes

And Twice on Monday

Kat

Bernhardt

Epoch

Bhupender K

Bhardwaj

Ancestry

Partridge

Boswell

Ancestry (final)

Partridge

Boswell

The Facebook of Faiyum (final)

Partridge

Boswell

The Unknowing

Partridge

Boswell

Portrait of a Wyoming Midwife

Burt

Bradley

Night Cooking

Mary

Brown

Winter Sagesse

una

brown

The Mothers and My Mother Tongue

Geoff

Burnes

Tornado

Terry

Chess

At the Fishmonger’s with my son

Alexandra

Corrin-Tachibana

Requiem For A Young Irish Poet

David

Del Bourgo

the poplar leaves are unafraid

James

Finnegan

Love

Sharon

Flynn

Creatures of Habit

Jonathan

Greenhause

Autumn Term Photograph, 1977

Shay

Griffin

The Cormorant Comes After a Death

Sinead

Griffin

University of Edinburgh Anatomy School

Debi

Hamilton

Clearing the Lane

Eithne

Hand

A Fruit-Picker’s Paycheck

Lenore

Hart

Dropping a tab of Keats after the wedding

Mark A

Hill

The More of Less

Deirdre

Hines

FIJI

Nicholas

Hogg

Driving to See My Mother for the Last Time

Matt

Hohner

Vacation with Sorrow and Lightning

Matt

Hohner

I Know Where Pheasants Hide On Shoot Day

kirsty

hollings

a day of old age

Gary

Hotham

Cast Off

Liz

Houchin

Retrospective

Liz

Houchin

Co-dependence

Elizabeth

Hulick

Uplift

Des

Kavanagh

Bound for Home

James Allan

Kennedy

Day Surgery

Lesley

Kenny

Elephants Walk on Their Tiptoes

Lesley

Kenny

Turnstile

Noel

King

Some Pleasures

Vanessa

Lampert

“On the Reservation at Tahola, Washington

Susan

Landgraf

Title

First Name

Last Name

Unrhymed (After the Killing)

Don

LePan

On Reading Ecclesiastes 5 at St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral

Angela

Long

Last teatime

Alison

Mace

These Hands

Brian

Martens

The Silence in the Hall

Seán

Martin

Tokyo #06

Jenna

Matecki

Father

Peggy

McCarthy

En route to the dream hospital, a murder

Kathleen

McCoy

Soaring

Lorraine

McLeod

Edisto Island, May 2019

Celeste

McMaster

Bee Litany

Michele

Miller

Holy

Michele

Miller

Our Da Was The Night Man

cathy

Miller

WILD AND ALONE

Susan

Musgrave

Dead Ant

Michelle

North-Coombes

Aotearoa

Judy

O’Kane

They Curve Like Rings

Colm

O’Shea

Zed Tree

catherine

ormell

Last Will and Testament

Val

Ormrod

things to do in quarantine

Olivia

Phillips

No: 11274

Robyn Maree

Pickens

Caribbean Dream

Anthony

Powers

Returns

Zara Raab

Raab

The Taking of Caravaggio

Bill

Richardson

Metabolic Loops and Rheumatoid

Rachel

Rix

Dust

Howard

Robertson

Rupture

Barry

Ryan

CHILDREN’S SANITORIUM 1945

Colin

Sanders

Suitcase

Penny

Sharman

Women’s Locker Room

Laura

Shore

Bone Collector

Kevin

Smith

Metamorphosis of a Celebrant Upon the Turning of the Year

Harvey

Soss

My Glacial Erratic

Leah

Stetson

Self-Portrait with Anxiety

L.J.

Sysko

Vagary

Linda

Tierney

Shoegazers’ Companion

Allen

Tullos

Blind Side

rob

wallis

Mum Died

rowena

warwick

Casting-off

Pat

Winslow

Home Was a Bruised Knee and Still We Danced

Mary

Wolff

The Night is Full of Invisible Rain

Patricia Helen

Wooldridge

The Year in Thirteen Moons

Steve

Xerri

 

 


 

Long-list:

(alphabetical order)
There are 295 poems in the long-list. The total entry was 1,952.

Title

First Name

Last Name

Golden Circles

Tylr

 

I Can’t Stop Loving You John Keats

Kim

Addonizio

“Ceiling”

Austin

Alexis

In the beginning was a word

Karen

Ashe

Green Line; Foothills, Isere; Frequency and Pitch

Jennifer

Barber

L’Envoi

Jeannette

Barnes

Mistress or Partner?

Rita

Bates

Last Frame

Jackie

Bennett

Half Cut

Trish

Bennett

Communion

Kat

Bernhardt

The Death Bed of Leonardo da Vinci

Kat

Bernhardt

And Twice on Monday

Kat

Bernhardt

Epoch

Bhupender K

Bhardwaj

In a City Favored by the Gods

David

Black

Matrilineage

Heather

Boland

The Facebook of Faiyum

Partridge

Boswell

The Facebook of Faiyum (final)

Partridge

Boswell

The Unknowing

Partridge

Boswell

Ancestry

Partridge

Boswell

Ancestry (final)

Partridge

Boswell

Villanelle at a party

rosalind

bouverie

tall tale

rosalind

bouverie

Portrait of a Wyoming Midwife

Burt

Bradley

Night Cooking

Mary

Brown

Winter Sagesse

una

brown

#MeToo

Achas

Burin

The Mothers and My Mother Tongue

Geoff

Burnes

Twigs’ Cradle (for Steve)

Poppy

Burton

In the Grounds of St. Mary’s

bern

butler

All That Remains

steven

cahill

Lawn Party

steven

cahill

Trapping Crows

Lorraine

Carey

Cape Ann Light Station

Helen

Carl

NuoroWaltz/Partnerless

Cheryl

Carpenter

Season of Brigid

Anne

Casey

A Pair of Codgers

michael

casey

Tornado

Terry

Chess

Asparagus

Martin

Childs

Enlargement

Martin

Childs

Ageing

Damianos

Chrysochoidis

THE HOME

John

Claxton

The Fourteenth Lock

brid

connolly

Village

Kevin

Conroy

Japanese Bathing Etiquette

Alexandra

Corrin-Tachibana

A Personal Glossary

Alexandra

Corrin-Tachibana

Coming Home

Alexandra

Corrin-Tachibana

At the Fishmonger’s with my son

Alexandra

Corrin-Tachibana

Clair De Lune

Michael

Costello

Water over stone

Anne

Coughlan

COAST

A.M.

Cousins

Requiem For A Young Irish Poet

David

Del Bourgo

Filtered Light

siobhan

dempsey

Lamentations

Elaine

Desmond

Archaeology

Michael

Dunne

POWER CUT

miriam

dunne

Eleven Questions, One Answer in a Long Caribbean Sentence

Simon Peter

Eggertsen

Ordeal of the Bitter Water

Alan

Elyshevitz

Stanch

Alan

Elyshevitz

Parochial Sonnet

Alan

Elyshevitz

The Blossoming

David

Evans

A hill view

Laila

Farnes

Hollow Bones

Michael

Farren

Original Sin: The Marshmallow Life Sentence

Bob

Fedell

Generosity

Stephanie

Feeney

The Effects of Metastasis on Boy and Girl

Molly

Felder

War

sharona

ferguson

Coming down.

Jay

Fields

the poplar leaves are unafraid

James

Finnegan

Love

Sharon

Flynn

A Distant Dark

Maurice

Forrester

Dawn to Dusk

armand

forster

Not Entirely Type-Cast, so

Linda

Franklin

Hold the Questions

Michael

Freveletti

Analysis, Terminable and Interminable

David

Galef

Homecoming

Denise

Garvey

A Kingfisher

Jerry

Gilpin

The Cognitive Capacity of Tanks

E A

Gleeson

Forces at Work

Mel

Goldberg

Edith

Cathy

Goodman

The Rewilding

Anne

Gottlieb

The Skip

Ian

Gouge

Freiburg in August

brian

gourley

Creatures of Habit

Jonathan

Greenhause

The Swans and the Stay-at-Home

Shay

Griffin

Autumn Term Photograph, 1977

Shay

Griffin

The Cormorant Comes After a Death

Sinead

Griffin

University of Edinburgh Anatomy School

Debi

Hamilton

Pincer Movement

Eithne

Hand

Clearing the Lane

Eithne

Hand

Thaw

George

Harding

Fruit Fly

George

Harding

The Circle

George

Harding

Hospital Appointment

Ella

Harris

A Fruit-Picker’s Paycheck

Lenore

Hart

My Father on a Summer Afternoon in 1957

Ninette

Hartley

The Pint

Denis

Hearn

At Saint-Sulpice

Brian

Heston

Dropping a tab of Keats after the wedding

Mark A

Hill

Second Sight

Deirdre

Hines

The More of Less

Deirdre

Hines

Things My Father Knows

Erich

Hintze

Storks

Harold

Hoefle

KNOW THE DISTANCE TO A STORM

Nicholas

Hogg

FIJI

Nicholas

Hogg

Andrew Wyeth’s “Spring”

Matt

Hohner

In Amsterdam, the Names

Matt

Hohner

The House Wren

Matt

Hohner

Driving to See My Mother for the Last Time

Matt

Hohner

Vacation with Sorrow and Lightning

Matt

Hohner

Carmen and Waldo

Jesse

Holland

I Know Where Pheasants Hide On Shoot Day

kirsty

hollings

BREAKING NEWS

Anniken

Holmsen

a day of old age

Gary

Hotham

Cast Off

Liz

Houchin

Retrospective

Liz

Houchin

Welcome Home

Mandy

Huggins

Co-dependence

Elizabeth

Hulick

Antigone’s Wirds Tae Lorca

robert

hume

Trek

Justin

Hunt

Walking

Ethan

Joella

Shape Shift

AK

Kaiser

Slaughter

Zeeyoo

Kang

Uplift

Des

Kavanagh

La Vita Nuova

John D.

Kelly

Sower

Shannon

Kelly

Waiting for the cows

Pamela

Kenley-Meschino

Girl with long hair

PETER UALRIG

KENNEDY

You can have the Lamborghini

PETER UALRIG

KENNEDY

Wall artist

PETER UALRIG

KENNEDY

Bound for Home

James Allan

Kennedy

Day Surgery

Lesley

Kenny

Elephants Walk on Their Tiptoes

Lesley

Kenny

Turnstile

Noel

King

Edinburgh Twilight

Mel

Konner

Kovalam Dawn

Mel

Konner

Let Me Garden Your Starts

tad

Kriofske Mainella

Some Pleasures

Vanessa

Lampert

Front door

Vanessa

Lampert

Writers’ Conference at Ft. Worden Overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Susan

Landgraf

“On the Reservation at Tahola, Washington

Susan

Landgraf

Title

First Name

Last Name

PRELUDE TO A FERRY CROSSING

Stacey

Lawrence

BUTCHER

Stacey

Lawrence

Before You the Blue

Marcia

Lawther

With You To

Marcia

Lawther

A Tiny One

Josh

Lefkowitz

Eve

Mary

Legato Brownell

The Source

Nicholas

Lenane

Mother’s Milk

Don

LePan

Unrhymed (After the Killing)

Don

LePan

FANNI

Jane

Liddell-King

Mothers

Marion

Llewellyn

On Reading Ecclesiastes 5 at St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral

Angela

Long

Loosed from the Ground and Longing

sandra

longley

To the Tenth Planet

Kurt

Luchs

The City Bus

Michael

Lyle

Last teatime

Alison

Mace

Beauty of Wiltshire

Laura

Mahal

Tonight, my son,

Kevin

Mannion

IN THE BLOOD

Jehane

Markham

THE DOLL’S HOUSE

jehane

Markham

THE SEARCH

jehane

Markham

Sun In Ear

Brian

Martens

These Hands

Brian

Martens

Alderwood

Seán

Martin

Ghost House

Seán

Martin

The Silence in the Hall

Seán

Martin

Writer’s block

Diego

Martinez

Tokyo #04

Jenna

Matecki

Tokyo #07

Jenna

Matecki

Tokyo #06

Jenna

Matecki

Portion controlled dinner for my love, Yitzhak

Rachael

Matthews

WAITER THERE’S A FLY IN MY SOUP

Kevin

Maynard

Tranquility

Lena

McCann

Father

Peggy

McCarthy

En route to the dream hospital, a murder

Kathleen

McCoy

Curriculum

Pat

McCutcheon

Second Chances

Jim

McElroy

Ghost

Rosemary

McLeish

Soaring

Lorraine

McLeod

2020: YEAR OF THE DOG

Katie

McLoughlin

Edisto Island, May 2019

Celeste

McMaster

Rotations

George

McWhirter

Eos in a Rosy Jumpsuit

Sighle

Meehan

Stutter

mary

miceli

Holy

Michele

Miller

Bee Litany

Michele

Miller

Our Da Was The Night Man

cathy

Miller

Near Real-Time

Tom

Minogue

Pavane with Winter Fox

Homer

Mitchell

WILD AND ALONE

Susan

Musgrave

Post-Grad

Jackson

Musker

She Thinks

Carla

Myers

Origin Story

Carla

Myers

It’s That Time of Year

Carla

Myers

The Weight of Feathers

Carla

Myers

Over Negronis

Jed

Myers

A Visit

Jed

Myers

dry

Norm

Neill

east end

Norm

Neill

Dead Ant

Michelle

North-Coombes

Half-light

Liam

O Neill

Chaff

Damen

O’Brien

On Viewing A Portrait of W.B. Yeats in the Living Room Of a Harvard Professor’s House, c. 1965

C.P.

O’Donnell

The Future Waves a Yellow Hat

Mary

O’Donnell

Musical Statues

Judy

O’Kane

Aotearoa

Judy

O’Kane

context

Kevin

O’Keeffe

The Search

Molly

O’Mahony

They Curve Like Rings

Colm

O’Shea

Wrought

Owen Patrick

O’Sullivan

Queen Meadbh

Sean

ODriscoll

The conch

Rena

Ong

Reflection

Rena

Ong

The Dropped Shoe

Rena

Ong

Zed Tree

catherine

ormell

Last Will and Testament

Val

Ormrod

The Bread and Butter Time

Patricia

Osborne

At Some Point

Marco

Patitucci

The Coldest Planet

Marco

Patitucci

“Pantoum for Elizabeth”

Tyler

Payne

One Starling

Clare

Pennington

An Unauthorized Trip Across America, Arrested

Niko

Pfund

things to do in quarantine

Olivia

Phillips

No: 11274

Robyn Maree

Pickens

281 Southbound

Kacie

Pollard

Little Maggy’s Face

Stephen

Pollock

Metamorphosis

Alyson

Porter

My Grandfather Ice Fishing on the St. Lawrence Seaway, 1935

Paul

Powell

Caribbean Dream

Anthony

Powers

In Between Your Eyebrows I Find an Inkwell

Cole

Pragides

Song to turn a body home

Shannon

Quinn

Returns

Zara Raab

Raab

Etchings

Anna

Ramberg

Yellow Post Offices (Daddy)

Nicole

Reid

Herring

Nicole

Reid

The Taking of Caravaggio

Bill

Richardson

Metabolic Loops and Rheumatoid

Rachel

Rix

Dust

Howard

Robertson

It Was Never Going to Be My Baby

Jacqueline

Rosenbaum

Rupture

Barry

Ryan

CHILDREN’S SANITORIUM 1945

Colin

Sanders

Thin Air

Bruce

Sarbit

Standard Conditions on Earth

Hayden

Saunier

mouse wren

Diane

Sexton

life print, in points

Renée

Sgroi

Suitcase

Penny

Sharman

Women’s Locker Room

Laura

Shore

The Sommelier

Umit

Singh Dhuga

Foxtrot

Umit

Singh Dhuga

Afterwards

Jeff

Skinner

Loading the trailer

Di

Slaney

The Black Dog

Kevin

Smith

Bone Collector

Kevin

Smith

Dustsheet

Honor

Somerset

Little Laika

Harvey

Soss

Metamorphosis of a Celebrant Upon the Turning of the Year

Harvey

Soss

The End of You

Deborah

Southwell

A Delicate Orchid

James

Stack

The Ships Captain and Me

eilis

stanley

I’ve written so much about my mother

Rachel

Stempel

My Glacial Erratic

Leah

Stetson

Oblivion

Martin

Sykes

A Birthday To Remember

Martin

Sykes

Self-Portrait with Anxiety

L.J.

Sysko

Night Prowlers

Veronica

Szczygiel

The Bumbles

Veronica

Szczygiel

Swelter

Ojo

Taiye

People Arriving for a Funeral, Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956

Jessica

Temple

How to Make Love while Looking out the Window at a Burnished Sky

Toni

Thomas

On Leaving the Sunburnt Country

Lynette

Thorstensen

Vagary

Linda

Tierney

If Not

Karen

Tobias-Green

The Dark Story of a Sky

Patti

Tronolone

Shoegazers’ Companion

Allen

Tullos

My Folks in Autumn

Alice

Turski

Zurkhaneh

Ellena

Valizadeh

Meditations at Newcomb Hollow

Lynne

Viti

Benediction

Maggie

Wadey

Stationery

Lucy

Wadham

Blind Side

rob

wallis

Assisted Living

Jane

Walster

The Sea is Full

Richard

Walter

Mum Died

rowena

warwick

Mayakovsky, I

Peter Graarup

Westergaard

All Yours

Grace

Wilentz

The Pollan Seller, Market Day 1899

Glen

Wilson

Wanted: Fagin’s Bottle Green Greatcoat

Sinead

Wilson

Casting-off

Pat

Winslow

Waiting Room Waiting

Mary

Wolff

Home Was a Bruised Knee and Still We Danced

Mary

Wolff

The Night is Full of Invisible Rain

Patricia Helen

Wooldridge

The Year in Thirteen Moons

Steve

Xerri

Laika at 60

Dorothy

Yamamoto

Elysian Fields

Saya

Zeleznik

 

Fish Books

Fish Anthology 2020

Fish Anthology 2020

I could see great stretches of imagination. I saw experimentation. I saw novelty with voice and style. I saw sentences that embraced both meaning and music. ~ Colum McCann


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Fish Anthology 2019

These glorious pieces have spun across the globe – pit-stopping in Japan, the Aussie outback, Vancouver, Paris, Amsterdam and our own Hibernian shores – traversing times past, present and imagined future as deftly as they mine the secret tunnels of the human heart. Enjoy the cavalcade. – Mia Gallagher


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Fish Anthology 2019

Fish Anthology 2018

The standard is high, in terms of the emotional impact these writers managed to wring from just a few pages. – Billy O’Callaghan

Loop-de-loopy, fizz, and dazzle … unique and compelling—compressed, expansive, and surprising. – Sherrie Flick

Every page oozes with a sense of place and time. – Marti Leimbach

Energetic, dense with detail … engages us in the act of seeing, reminds us that attention is itself a form of praise. – Ellen Bass


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Fish Anthology 2017

Fish Anthology 2017

Dead Souls has the magic surplus of meaning that characterises fine examples of the form – Neel Mukherjee
I was looking for terrific writing of course – something Fish attracts in spades, and I was richly rewarded right across the spectrum – Vanessa Gebbie
Really excellent – skilfully woven – Chris Stewart
Remarkable – Jo Shapcott


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Fish Anthology 2016

The practitioners of the art of brevity and super-brevity whose work is in this book have mastered the skills and distilled and double-distilled their work like the finest whiskey.


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Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco

Sunrise Sunset

€12  (incl. p&p)   Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco Read Irish Times review by Claire Looby Surreal, sad, zany, funny, Tina Pisco’s stories are drawn from gritty experience as much as the swirling clouds of the imagination.  An astute, empathetic, sometimes savage observer, she brings her characters to life. They dance themselves onto the pages, […]


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Fish Anthology 2015

Fish Anthology 2015

How do we transform personal experience of pain into literature? How do we create and then chisel away at those images of others, of loss, of suffering, of unspeakable helplessness so that they become works of art that aim for a shared humanity? The pieces selected here seem to prompt all these questions and the best of them offer some great answers.
– Carmen Bugan.


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Fish Anthology 2014

Fish Anthology 2014

What a high standard all round – of craft, imagination and originality: and what a wide range of feeling and vision.
Ruth Padel

I was struck by how funny many of the stories are, several of them joyously so – they are madcap and eccentric and great fun. Others – despite restrained and elegant prose – managed to be devastating. All of them are the work of writers with talent.
Claire Kilroy


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Fish Anthology 2013

Fish Anthology 2013

The writing comes first, the bottom line comes last. And sandwiched between is an eye for the innovative, the inventive and the extraordinary.


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Fish Anthology 2012

A new collection from around the globe: innovative, exciting, invigorating work from the writers and poets who will be making waves for some time to come. David Mitchell, Michael Collins, David Shields and Billy Collins selected the stories, flash fiction, memoirs and poems in this anthology.


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Fish Anthology 2011

Reading the one page stories I was a little dazzled, and disappointed that I couldn’t give the prize to everybody. It’s such a tight format, every word must count, every punctuation mark. ‘The Long Wet Grass’ is a masterly bit of story telling … I still can’t get it out of my mind.
– Chris Stewart


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Fish Anthology 2010

The perfectly achieved story transcends the limitations of space with profundity and insight. What I look for in fiction, of whatever length, is authenticity and intensity of feeling. I demand to be moved, to be transported, to be introduced into other lives. The stories I have selected for this anthology have managed this. – Ronan Bennett, Short Story Judge.


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Fish Anthology 2009 – Ten Pint Ted

I sing those who are published here – they have done a very fine job. It is difficult to create from dust, which is what writers do. It is an honour to have read your work. – Colum McCann


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Fish Anthology 2008 – Harlem River Blues

The entries into this year’s Fish Short Story Prize were universally strong. From these the judges have selected winners, we believe, of exceptional virtue. – Carlo Gebler


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Fish Anthology 2007

I was amazed and delighted at the range and quality of these stories. Every one of them was interesting, well-written, beautifully crafted and, as a short-story must, every one of them focused my attention on that very curtailed tableau which a short-story necessarily sets before us. – Michael Collins


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Fish Anthology 2006 – Grandmother, Girl, Wolf and Other Stories

These stories voice all that is vibrant about the form. – Gerard Donovan. Very short stories pack a poetic punch. Each of these holds its own surprise, or two. Dive into these seemingly small worlds. You’ll come up anew. – Angela Jane Fountas


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All the King’s Horses – Anthology of Historical Short Stories

Each of the pieces here has been chosen for its excellence. They are a delightfully varied assortment. More than usual for an anthology, this is a compendium of all the different ways that fiction can succeed. I invite you to turn to ‘All the King’s Horses’. The past is here. Begin.
– Michel Faber


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Fish Anthology 2005 – The Mountains of Mars and Other Stories

Literary anthologies, especially of new work, act as a kind of indicator to a society’s concerns. This Short Story collection, such a sharp and useful enterprise, goes beyond that. Its internationality demonstrates how our concerns are held in common across the globe. – Frank Delaney


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Fish Anthology 2004 – Spoonface and Other Stories

From the daily routine of a career in ‘Spoonface’, to the powerful, recurring image of a freezer in ‘Shadow Lives’. It was the remarkable focus on the ordinary that made these Fish short stories such a pleasure to read. – Hugo Hamilton


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Feathers & Cigarettes

In a world where twenty screens of bullshit seem to be revolving without respite … there is nothing that can surpass the ‘explosion of art’ and its obstinate insistence on making sense of things. These dedicated scribes, as though some secret society, heroically, humbly, are espousing a noble cause.
– Pat McCabe


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Franklin’s Grace

It’s supposed to be a short form, the good story, but it has about it a largeness I love. There is something to admire in all these tales, these strange, insistent invention. They take place in a rich and satisfying mixture of places, countries of the mind and heart. – Christopher Hope


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Asylum 1928

There are fine stories in this new anthology, some small and intimate, some reaching out through the personal for a wider, more universal perspective, wishing to tell a story – grand, simple, complex or everyday, wishing to engage you the reader. – Kate O’Riodan


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Five O’Clock Shadow

I feel like issuing a health warning with this Fish Anthology ­ these stories may seriously damage your outlook – Here the writers view the world in their unique way, and have the imagination, talent, and the courage to refine it into that most surprising of all art forms ­ the short story. – Clem Cairns.


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From the Bering Strait

Every story in this book makes its own original way in the world. knowing which are the telling moments, and showing them to us. And as the narrator of the winning story casually remarks, ‘Sometimes its the small things that amaze me’ – Molly McCloskey


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Scrap Magic

The stories here possess the difference, the quirkiness and the spark. They follow their own road and their own ideas their own way. It is a valuable quality which makes this collection a varied one. Read it, I hope you say to yourself like I did on many occasions, ‘That’s deadly. How did they think of that?’ – Eamonn Sweeney


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Dog Day

Really good short stories like these, don’t read like they were written. They read like they simply grew on the page. – Joseph O’Connor


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The Stranger

The writers in this collection can write short stories . . . their quality is the only thing they have in common. – Roddy Doyle


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The Fish Garden

This is the first volume of short stories from Ireland’s newest publishing house. We are proud that fish has enabled 15 budding new writers be published in this anthology, and I look forward to seeing many of them in print again.


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12 Miles Out – a novel by Nick Wright

12 Miles Out was selected by David Mitchell as the winner of the Fish Unpublished Novel Award.
A love story, thriller and historical novel; funny and sad, uplifting and enlightening.


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Altergeist – a novel by Tim Booth

You only know who you can’t trust. You can’t trust the law, because there’s none in New Ireland. You can’t trust the Church, because they think they’re the law. And you can’t trust the State, because they think they’re the Church And most of all, you can’t trust your friends, because you can’t remember who they were anymore.


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Small City Blues numbers 1 to 51 – a novel by Martin Kelleher

A memoir of urban life, chronicled through its central character, Mackey. From momentary reflections to stories about his break with childhood and adolescence, the early introduction to the Big World, the discovery of romance and then love, the powerlessness of ordinary people, the weaknesses that end in disappointment and the strengths that help them seek redemption and belonging.


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The Woman Who Swallowed the Book of Kells – Collection of Short Stories by Ian Wild

Ian Wild’s stories mix Monty Python with Hammer Horror, and the Beatles with Shakespeare, but his anarchic style and sense of humour remain very much his own in this collection of tall tales from another planet. Where else would you find vengeful organs, the inside story of Eleanor Rigby, mobile moustaches, and Vikings looting a Cork City branch of Abracababra?


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News & Articles

Lockdown – Best Haiku/Senryu

2nd July 2020
  Author Name(Alphabeticalorder)   HAIKU / SENRYU   ——————————————————————– Allen Sunshine brightens the day By Myra Allen   Sunshine brightens the day Walking lightens the moodTalking provides solace for the soul   ——————————————————————– Askew American Sentences By Claire Askew   First full day of lockdown   Murmuration of late snow: no company here but stove, […]

Lockdown – Best Poems & Pocket Prose

2nd July 2020
Author Names(alphabetical order) POCKET PROSE/POEMS/BREAKOUT Hit this Link for HAIKU/SENRYU Adams Daughter By Ash Adams   I loved you like a pandemic, like an emergency— you, running naked in everyone’s yard. Loving you started like an acid trip: one day, you emerged from my body like a slippery fish and the world breathed. Things were […]

Lockdown Prize: Results

2nd July 2020
From all of us at Fish, we are delighted to announce the results of the 2020 Lockdown Prize. Thank you to all the writers who entered this prize which resulted in a torrent of great work and a donation to OXFAM’s Coronavirus Emergency Appeal of €4,308. We were looking for authentic, interesting, insightful reflections on […]

Poetry Prize 2020: Results, Short & Long-lists

14th May 2020
  Winners Short-list Long-list   Winners Here are the 10 winners, as chosen by judge Billy Collins, to be published in the Fish Anthology 2020 The Fish Anthology 2020 was to  be launched as part of the West Cork Literary Festival  (July 2020), but the festival has been cancelled for 2020. Top 10 poems will […]

Flash Fiction Prize 2020: Results, Short & Long-lists

10th April 2020
Winners Short-list Long-list Congratulations to the writers whose memoirs were short or long-listed and to the 10 winners.   Winners Here are the 10 winning Flash Fiction Stories, as chosen by judge Tania Hershman, to be published in the Fish Anthology 2020 The Fish Anthology 2020 was to be launched as part of the West Cork Literary […]

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