The Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas advances teaching and scholarship in Irish Studies for Students, faculty and friends of the university through publications, instruction and public programs; enriches the international dimensions of education at St. Thomas; and affirms the many historic and contemporary bonds between the university, Ireland and the Irish-American community.
New Hibernia Review, a quarterly journal of Irish Studies, is the cornerstone of the Center for Irish Studies. Appearing in March, June, September, and December, each issue offers plainly argued writing on Irish life and culture for the scholar and lay reader alike. Most of the journal comprises annotated articles from a range of disciplines, especially literature and history. In addition, each issue includes an opening memoir or informal essay (nine of which have been selected as “notables” in the Best American Essays volumes), a suite of new poems from an Irish poet, and book reviews.
Since 1997, the Center for Irish Studies has presented an annual cash award of $5,000 to a distinguished Irish poet. The prize honors both the literary achievement of the poet and his or her contribution to the community of writers in Ireland. The first recipient was Eavan Boland; the most recent (2015) was Paula Meehan. All of the honored poets have visited the St Thomas campus for up to a week, where they meet with students, visit classes, and take part in a variety of public events. The poets’ visits conclude with a free public reading on the St. Thomas campus. The recipient is selected by internal nomination.