Poet Eavan Boland dead at 75

Eavan Boland.

By Irish Echo Staff

President Michael D. Higgins has led tributes to internationally acclaimed Irish poet, Eavan Boland, who died suddenly in Dublin aged 75.

President Higgins described Boland as “one of the most insightful inner sources of Irish life, not only in life as expressed but as sensed and experienced

“Over the years, through her poetry, critical work and teaching she displayed an extraordinary ability to invoke Irish landscapes, myth and everyday experience. She became one of the pre-eminent voices in Irish literature, noted for the high standard she sought and achieved,” he said.

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“The revealing of a hidden Ireland, in terms of what was suffered, neglected, evaded, given insufficient credit, is a part of her achievement.”

Boland was based for the past two decades at Stanford University in California and had only recently returned to her native Dublin. Her previous university postings were at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin.

She had returned from Stanford due to the Coronavirus pandemic and to be with her family in Ireland. She had been teaching remotely up until her death, the Irish Times reported

Boland published her first collection of poems in 1962 and her work was familiar poet to Irish school students sitting the Leaving Certificate examination.

Dr. Mary McAuliffe, an assistant professor in gender studies at UCD described Eavan Boland as a “great woman, a great writer, a great educator and an immense poetic voice."

Stated the Irish Times Report: "The daughter of Frederick Boland, a diplomat, and Frances Kelly, a noted artist, Eavan Boland was born in Dublin in 1944. She spent part of her childhood in London and in New York, later studying at Trinity College, Dublin. Her first two collections, 23 Poems (1962) and Autumn Essay (1963), were published before she was 20 years of age.

"Her collection In a Time of Violence (1994) received a Lannan Award and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Her 70th birthday was marked by an event at the Abbey Theatre, in which she discussed her writing with fellow poet Paula Meehan. In 2018, she was commissioned by Ireland’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations and the Royal Irish Academy to commemorate the centenary of Irish women winning the right to vote and casting their first ballot with the poem Our future will become the past of other women."