CRIS Activities

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


  • the establishment of the Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, which honors Irish poets
  • the presentation of "Basil Blackshaw: Painter" in cooperation with the College of St. Catherine, a major retrospective exhibition developed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, supplemented by guest lectures by Brian Ferran of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and a panel discussion of local artists and critics
  • the display of the forty-panel exhibition "Treasures of the National Library of Ireland"
  • establishment of an annual fine arts press chapbook of Irish poetry by book artist Paulette Myers-Rich, which is presented to the university's library every St. Patrick's Day
  • the screening of the documentary film The Hard Road to Klondike followed by a discussion with director Derek Bell


  • annual public readings by recipients of the O'Shaughnessy Poetry Award (Eavan Boland, John F. Deane, Peter Sirr, Louis de Paor, and Moya Cannon, Frank Ormsby, Thomas McCarthy, Michael Coady, and Kerry Hardie)
  • a reading and book launch by Lawrence Millman for the reissue of Our Like Will Not Be There Again
  • a reading by poet Micheal O'Siadhail of Dublin
  • a reading by Irish-American poet Daniel Tobin
  • a reading by Irish short story writer Evelyn Conlon


  • a lecture by Eavan Boland, in association with the Luann Dummer Center for Women's "Mythic Women " series, titled "A Woman Writer: Her Journey"
  • a major public address by Michael D. Higgins, minister for arts, culture and the Gaeltacht, at the inauguration of New Hibernia Review
  • a lecture by poet Thomas McCarthy of Cork on Eavan Boland’s poetry
  • a lecture by peace activist Colin Craig on the Corrymeela Center in Northern Ireland
  • sponsorship of Gearóid Denvir's plenary address to the annual meeting of the North American Association of Celtic Language Teachers
  • a lecture by archeologist Peter Woodman on “Ireland before the Celts:
  • establishment of the Boole Lecture in Irish science and Technology, the first of which featured Dr. Gerry Wrixon of Cork’s National Microelectronic Research Center
  • a lecture by Ambassador Richard Ryan, permanent representative of Ireland at the United Nations on “Ireland on the World Stage.” This was preceded by the presentation of an honorary doctorate from the University of St Thomas.
  • a lecture by Louise Fuller of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth on “Irish Catholicism Today”
  • establishment of an endowed fund to support ongoing lectures by Irish scholars to the University of St. Thomas

Community Outreach

  • Participation, by winners of the O'Shaughnessy Poetry Award, in public panel discussions on such topics as "The Politics of Language" and "Poetry and the Marginalized," as well as "Writers in Dialogue" sessions co-sponsored by the Friends of the St Paul Public Library. These have included “Writers from Borders” with Frank Ormsby and Ray Gonzales; “Politics and Literature” with Thomas McCarthy and George Latimer; and “Writing, Place, and Memory” with Michael Coady and Patricia Hampl.
  • 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 regular co-sponsorship, with Gaeltacht Minnesota, of noncredit workshops in the Irish language
  • the planning and presentation of Seoda: Gems of Contemporary Irish Culture ; Ireland: Roots and Blossoms; Paiste na hÉireann: A Patchwork of Ireland; and Ireland: An Unfolding Map, colloquia taught in collaboration with the University of St. Thomas Center for Senior Education
  • the purchase of the 15-part series "Stories of Irish America" from Radharc Productions of Dublin, available to classes and civic organizations
  • 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
  • hosting of a public reception celebrating regional Irish publications and authors
  • advance screening of a PBS documentary on the Irish in America, featuring remarks by historian Lawrence McCaffrey
  • 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 Heritage Fair

Curricular initiatives

  • planning for a minor in Irish Studies
  • the introduction of two semesters of instruction in the Irish language at the University of St. Thomas
  • arranging for St Thomas approval of a third section of Irish-language instruction in County Galway, enabling students to meet their foreign language requirement by studying Irish
  • the provision of the "SpeakWrite" CD-based instruction program in the Irish language
  • the introduction of topics courses surveying Irish History and Irish-American History for Fall, 2000
  • travel prizes to meritorious students to continue their education in the Irish language at Aras Mhairtín Uí Chadáin in Carraroe, Co. Galway
  • the introduction of a topics course in Irish Literature in Translation for Spring, 2001
  • 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
  • the development of an Aquinas Scholars Seminar titled "Family and Social Responsibility in Irish America"
  • arranging for numerous donations of books, both new and rare, to the collections of O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center


  • hosting of the American Conference for Irish Studies international meeting in June 2003, attended by more than 300 scholars
  • participation in the Project Muse® on-line publishing venture of Johns Hopkins University Press
  • inclusion of New Hibernia Review in leading bibliographic indexes in the Humanities
  • the hosting of the Midwest regional meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies in October 1998
  • attendance and participation at professional meetings of the American Conference for Irish Studies, the Graduate Irish Studies Conference, International Association for the Study of Irish Literature, and other meetings
  • the presentation of the annual Roger McHugh Award for the year’s outstanding essay in New Hibernia Review, in collaboration with the Office of the President at University College Dublin
  • editorship of the American Conference for Irish Studies Newsletter during 1998-99
  • service as president of the Midwest Region of the American Conference for Irish Studies