A revolutionary and disruptive poet, Eavan Boland was one of the foremost voices in Irish literature. The author of over ten volumes of poetry and several books of prose, her work is noted for its attention to the daily lives of women—wives and mothers, in particular.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1944, Boland published her first poems in 1962, sparking a revolution in writing: “What was radical,” Boland says, “was that the objects of a literature became, in a short space of time, the authors of it. When women began to write the Irish poem, and made it answer to their lives, that was both renewing and disruptive.” The book she published just prior to her SAL reading in 2007/08, Domestic Violence, explores the tension between our instincts to nurture and our instincts toward violence, or, as she says, “the distance between living and imagining.”
Boland’s awards include a Lannan Foundation Award in Poetry and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award. She taught at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Bowdoin College, and at Stanford University since 1996, where she was the Bella Mabury and Eloise Mabury Knapp Professor in the Humanities and Melvin and Bill Lane professor of English and director of the creative writing program. She divided her time between Palo Alto and Dublin, before her death in 2020.