CRIS Activities

In addition to the quarterly publication of New Hibernia Review, activities of the Center thus far have included:


  • The continued presentation of the annual Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry
  • The presentation of full-color reproductions of historic and contemporary Irish art works on the covers of New Hibernia Review, accompanied by educational notes
  • The commissioning of fine press poetry chapbooks by book artist Paulette Myers-Rich
  • The commissioning of commemorative broadsides in conjunction with the O’Shaughnessy Award, which are collected in major libraries throughout the world
  • co-sponsorship of the Irish Theatrical Diaspora conference with the Guthrie Theatre in 2013
  • Support for the Joe Dowling Fellowship, which sends theater artists to a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Center, Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan


  • annual on-campus public readings by recipients of the O'Shaughnessy Poetry Award attended by students and the wider public
  • Appearances and readings by O’Shaughnessy honorees at the presentation of the Minnesota Book Awards
  • Appearances and interviews by O’Shaughnessy honorees on Minnesota Public Radio and other media outlets
  • Themed poetry readings by students and others during the annual St Patrick’s Day Open House
  • Participation, by staff and by visiting poets, in the “Poetry on the Patio” events of the UST libraries


  • Dr.  Declan Kiberd of University College Dublin on “What Is my Nation?: An Irish View of Politics and Literature.”  This was preceded by the presentation of an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Thomas.
  • Dr Christopher Shannon of Christendom College on “Irish  Catholics on the American Screen”
  • Dr. Timothy White of Xavier University on “Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process”
  • Dr. Andrew Auge of Loras College on “Seamus Heaney and Religion”
  • Dr. Sean Farrell of Northern Illinois University on “Looking Beyond Orange and Green in Irish History: Sectarian Violence in the 19th Century”
  • Dr. Irene Whelan of Manhattanville College on “The Irish Catholic ‘Spiritual Empire’:  The History of an Ideology”
  • Numerous presentations by O’Shaughnessy honorees to the Selim Center for Learning in Later Years
  • Numerous on-campus lectures by Center staff to the Selim Center

Community Outreach

  • A long-term collaboration with the Friends of the St Paul Public Library in presenting the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award winners in conversation with local literary figures; recent topics include “Poetry and the City: The Urban Muse”; “The Personal and the Mythic: Poetry and Stories”; and “Home by Starlight: The Poet’s Way”
  • Organizing a day-long interdisciplinary symposium on “The Irish Family at Home and Abroad”
  • “When a Poet Dies,”  a tribute to Seamus Heaney featuring four prominent Minnesota authors
  • the regular co-sponsorship, with Gaeltacht Minnesota, of noncredit workshops in the Irish language
  • the showing of The Pipe, a documentary concerning an environmental controversy in Western Ireland, followed by a panel discussion
  • numerous presentations on Ireland to civic and cultural organizations
  • facilitation of St Thomas-sponsored tours of Ireland, in which past poetry award winners and other cultural leaders welcomed the St Thomas group
  • Irish programming in the “First Friday” luncheon series of the University of St Thomas Alumni Association
  • the planning and presentation of Irish-themed colloquia taught in collaboration with the Selim Center for Learning in Later Life
  • the hosting, with the Department of Special Collections in O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center, of an annual St. Patrick's Day Open House displaying rare Irish books from the university’s Celtic Collection
  • recognition by the Irish Fair of Minnesota with the Curtin-Conway Award for outstanding contributions to Irish culture
  • involvement in planning cultural programming for the Irish Fair of Minnesota
  • involvement in Éigse, the annual showcases of the  Center for Irish Music
  • frequent comment on Irish matters in regional newspapers and tv-radio broadcasts
  • the presentation of illustrated talks on regional Irish history to civic and fraternal groups as well as at the Minnesota Irish Fair

Curricular Initiatives

  • the introduction of topics courses in English on such subjects as Irish memoir; Irish-American writing; and the literature of Irish Catholicism 
  • the development of several Aquinas Scholars seminars, including "Family and Social Responsibility in Irish America" and “The Irish Environmental Imagination: Theory and Practice”
  • review and supervision of students minoring in Irish Studies
  • travel awards to meritorious students to continue their education in the Irish language at Aras Mhairtín Uí Chadáin in Carraroe, Co. Galway
  • the development of an editorial internship with New Hibernia Review that allows students in the MA in English program to gain experience in scholarly publishing
  • arranging for numerous donations of books, both new and rare, to the collections of O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center
  • advising and supporting the UST Irish Club


  • service to the American Conference for Irish Studies, including hosting both  international and regional meetings and holding the presidency of the organization
  • attendance and participation at other professional meetings in Irish Studies, the Graduate Irish Studies Conference, International Association for the Study of Irish Literature, and the Canadian Association for Irish Studies
  • participation in the Project Muse® on-line publishing venture of Johns Hopkins University Press, and J-Stor®, a similar database
  • inclusion of New Hibernia Review in leading bibliographic indexes in the Humanities
  • the publication by Dufour Editions of Extended Family: Essays on Being Irish American from New Hibernia Review, a collection of personal essays
  • the presentation of the annual Roger McHugh Award for the year’s outstanding essay in New Hibernia Review
  • Recognition, on nine different occasions, as a “notable essay of the year” in the annual Best American Essays volumes of Houghton-Mifflin publishing