Gerald Dawe
​Photo credit: Bobbie Hanvey (Burns Library Photographic Archives, Boston College)

Irish Poet Gerald Dawe Receives 28th O’Shaughnessy Award

The Center for Irish Studies and College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas announced Gerald Dawe as the recipient of the 28th Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry. The only prize of its type in the world, the O’Shaughnessy Award is granted to a poet resident in Ireland who makes significant contributions to the country’s cultural landscape and, with thanks to the generosity of the O’Shaughnessy family, to U.S. culture as well.

Gerald Dawe was born in Belfast in 1952 and educated at the University of Ulster and University College Galway, where he taught for many years. In 1988, he moved to Trinity College Dublin where he is a Fellow and Professor Emeritus of English. At Trinity, Dawe founded the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing, the first creative writing center in Ireland. He resides in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin.

Dawe’s poetry explores the intersections of his personal experiences and the political and cultural realities that have surrounded his life. His first collection of poems, Sheltering Places (Blackstaff) was published in 1978 and his second, The Lundys Letter (The Gallery Press, 1985), was awarded the Macaulay Fellowship in Literature. Dawe’s other honors include Arts Council Bursaries for Poetry, the Hawthornden International Writers’ Fellowship, the Ledig-Rowholt International Writers’ Award and Moore Institute Fellowship.

Another Time: Poems 1978-2023, Dawe’s most recent publication, joins a new collection of poems with an extended selection from his eight previous books published by The Gallery Press.

Dawe will visit St. Paul to receive his award the week of May 12. Several free and open-to-the-public events are scheduled, including:

  • Monday, May 13: Casual discussion on women’s voices in Irish writing from 1990 to present. Hosted by the O’Shaughnessy Foundation, LDCW, the Selim Center, and Center for Irish Studies. Dawe will discuss his work editing a number of influential journals and anthologies that were instrumental in the current flourishing of writers’ workshops throughout Ireland. Lunch will be served. 11:45 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Luann Dummer Center for Women
  • Tuesday, May 14: Open discussion with students on the evolution and opportunities of writing programs. Lunch will be provided by the O’Shaughnessy Foundation and Center for Irish Studies. 1:30–3 p.m., ASC 202
  • Tuesday, May 14: Reading and discussion with local poets. 6–7 p.m., Merriam Park Public Library, 1831 Marshall Ave., St. Paul
  • Wednesday, May 15: “Northern Voices: Poetry and Music.” Dawe will be joined by Danny Diamond, fiddle player and musician who has won multiple awards and has played the Sydney Opera House, The Bolshoi, and Abbey Theatre, among others, in an evening of poetry and music from the Northern Irish Tradition. ASC Hearth Room, 7–8:30 p.m.