Cotter's published work includes several chapbooks, the verse novella The Misogynist’s Blue Nightmare (Raven Arts Press, 1990) and the full collections, Perplexed Skin (Arlen House 2008) and Making Music (Three Spires Press 2009). No One Knows - a bilingual selection was published in Macedonia in 2014.
His work has appeared in many anthologies including Separate Islands: Contemporary British and Irish poetry (Quarry, Ontario) Irish Poetry Now (Wolfhound) Jumping off Shadows - Some Contemporary Irish Poets (Cork University Press) The Irish Eros (Gill & Macmillan) The Backyards of Heaven (Newfoundland) Something Beginning with P (O'Brien Press) and in The Great Book of Ireland.
His translations of the Estonian poet Andres Ehin are collected in the book Moosebeetle Swallow (Southword Editions). His play Beauty and the Stalker was produced at the Granary Theatre, Cork in 2000 and he has published short fiction in journals and newspapers.
Cotter’s own poems have been translated into Chinese, Croatian, Estonian, French, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Macedonian, Norse, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish. He has given readings of his work in Ireland, Canada, China, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Macedonia, Norway, Italy, India, Turkey and the USA.
In 2013 he received the Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry.