Irish poet Pat Boran to receive 12th O

April is National Poetry Month

Irish poet Pat Boran to receive 12th O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry; public reading is April 11 at St. Thomas

Irish poet Pat Boran of Dublin will receive the 12th annual Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies.

Boran will read from his work at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, in Room 126 (auditorium) of the John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts on St. Thomas' St. Paul campus. The reading, free and open to the public, will cap a week of events, classroom visits and public appearances by the poet.

Boran also will participate in a public conversation with poet Jim Moore of Hamline University on the topic of "Finding the Universal of the Local." The event begins at 7 p.m. Monday, April 7, at the Highland Branch Library Auditorium, 1974 Ford Parkway, St. Paul. Moore is the author of six collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Lightning at Dinner ( Graywolf Press, 2007), and has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, The Loft and the Bush Foundation. Both events are co-sponsored by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, a nonprofit group that advocates for the library and promotes greater public awareness of the library's resources and programs.    

The $5,000 O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, established in 1997, honors Irish poets.  The award is named for Lawrence O'Shaughnessy, who taught English at St. Thomas from 1948 to 1950, formerly served on the university's board of trustees and is the retired head of the I.A. O'Shaughnessy Foundation.  

Boran was born in Portlaoise, Ireland, in 1963, and currently lives in Dublin, where he has been Writer-in-Residence with Dublin City Libraries, Dublin Corp. and Dublin City University. He also is program director of the Dublin Writers Festival. In 2005 he became director of Dedalus Press, a premier publisher of contemporary poetry from Ireland. He has published four collections of poetry, including The Unwound Clock, which won the 1989 Patrick Kavanagh Award for an outstanding first book, and Familiar Things (1993), The Shape of Water (1996) and As the Hand, the Glove (2001), all published by Dedalus. He also is author of a book of short fiction for children, All the Way From China ( Poolbeg Press, 1998), and two nonfiction works, The Portable Creative Writing Workshop (Salmon Publishing, 1999) and A Short History of Dublin (Mercier, 2000). Boran also regularly reviews for Irish newspapers and literary journals. In 2005, Salt Publishing in England published his New and Selected Poems, which since has been reissued by Dedalus Press.

Boran writes frequently about his childhood in a quiet Irish town and of the suggestion of mystery that can be found in daily routines. Dennis O'Driscoll, winner of the 2006 O'Shaughnessy Poetry Award, calls Boran a "spirited celebrator of the local and the known."

Previous winners of the O'Shaughnessy Award, in addition to O'Driscoll, are Eavan Boland, John Deane, Peter Sirr, Louis de Paor, Moya Cannon, Frank Ormsby, Thomas McCarthy, Michael Coady, Kerry Hardie and Seán Lysaght.

For more information, please contact Jim Rogers, managing director of the UST Center for Irish Studies, (651) 962-5662.