MacCarthy wins $5,000 O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry

Catherine Phil MacCarthy is to receive the 18th annual Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the University of St Thomas Center for Irish Studies, St Paul, Minnesota.

The Dublin poet will read from her work on Friday, April 11th, on St. Thomas' St. Paul campus, capping a week of events, classroom visits and public appearances by the poet. MacCarthy will earlier take part in a public conversation with local poet Matt Rasmussen on The Island of Poetry: Small Places in a Large World .

The $5,000 O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, established in 1997, honours 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 IA O’Shaughnessy Foundation.

Catherine Phil MacCarthy was born in Co Limerick in 1954. She has been a full-time writer since 1999 and is a frequent teacher and workshop leader at schools and festivals throughout Ireland.


Her previous honours include being a finalist for the 1992 Patrick Kavanagh Award for a first collection; the Fish International Poetry Prize in 2010; and multiple awards from the Irish Arts Council. Last year, she completed an artist’s residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris.

She is the author of four collections of poetry: This Hour of the Tide (1994), published by Salmon Press; the blue globe (1998) and Suntrap (2007), both from Blackstaff Press; and The Invisible Threshold, (Dedalus Press 2012). She also is the author of a novel, One Room an Everywhere (Blackstaff, 2003).

Previous winners of the O’Shaughnessy Award are Eavan Boland, John F. Deane, Peter Sirr, Louis de Paor, Moya Cannon, Frank Orsmby, Thomas McCarthy, Michael Coady, Kerry Hardie, Dennis O’Driscoll, Seán Lysaght, Pat Boran, Mary O’Malley, Theo Dorgan, Leanne O’Sullivan, Gerard Smyth and Leontia Flynn.