Home News Eavan Boland, 1944-2020: a tribute

Eavan Boland, 1944-2020: a tribute

We were saddened to hear the news of the death of acclaimed poet Eavan Boland, who has died at the age of 75. She died at her home in Dublin following a stroke. Born in Dublin in 1944, Eavan Boland became known as one of the foremost female voices in Irish literature.

Boland published her first collection of poems in 1962, when she was a student. She had a long career as a poet, editor and teacher. Her work was a staple on Irish Leaving Cert English curriculum for many years. She was formerly a writer-in-residence at Trinity College Dublin and UCD, and she had been Professor of English and director of the creative writing programme at Stanford University for the past 20 years.

Her poetic output was distinguished for documenting women’s lives, including their domestic lives, while she also looked at the role of women in Irish history and culture. In 2015, her poem ‘Quarantine’ was shortlisted in the Poem for Ireland competition on RTÉ, and in 2017 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Irish Book Awards. Her position as one of the foremost feminist voices within Irish poetry was established through over 10 volumes of poetry, her 1995 memoir, and her teaching. President Michael D Higgins described her as an internationally acclaimed poet and distinguished academic and author. He added: “It was her particular gift to reveal the beauty in the ordinary.” 

Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam.

Tony Canavan