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Eavan Boland: A Poet's Dublin
Edited by Paula Meehan and Jody Allen Randolph
Categories: 21st Century, Art, Irish, Women
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (96 pages)
A woman in the doorway of a house.
A river in the city of her birth.
There, in the hills above my house,
The river Liffey rises, is a source.
It rises in rush and ling heather and
Black peat and bracken and strengthens
To claim the city it narrated.
from ‘Anna Liffey’
Published to celebrate the seventieth birthday of acclaimed Irish poet Eavan Boland, this book brings together many of Boland’s best known poems with her own striking photographs of her native city, Dublin. Through juxtaposition of text and image, place and memory, the book creates a unique portrait of the city: ‘fragments’, Boland says, ‘can point at something accurately’.
A Poet’s Dublin also includes an introduction by Jody Allen Randolph and a conversation between Eavan Boland and Paula Meehan in which the two poets reflect on their shared city and the central role it has played in their lives and in their work.
Awards won by Eavan Boland Winner, 2020 Costa Poetry Award
(The Historians) Winner, 2017 Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award
Awards won by Paula Meehan Winner, 2017 SOA Cholmondeley Award
Praise for Eavan Boland
'...She has a dazzling gift for marrying the poem's narrative to its underlying considerations and themes, her carefully enacted restraint heightening the impact of the frequently stunning closing image.''The poems, all of them, have that familiar, spare, feel to them - the clarity of cold water, the measured cadence, the plain diction and the leaping insight so characteristic of her mature work - but there is grief here of a depth and of a kind that chills the heart... against the darkness that eddies and gathers in this, the last book we will have from her hand, there is indeed redemptive light'
Maya C. Popa, Poetry Review
Theo Dorgan, Dublin Review of Books
'This is a fitting tribute to a poet whose work has revised history as we know it and whose talent will be much missed.''The first poem in Boland's book, The Fire Gilder, is one of the best Irish poems of the past half-century.'
Poetry Book Society Winter Bulletin
Colm Tóibín, The Irish Times
'Truly consumable, enjoyable and emotive... all the things that great poetry should be.'
Jasmine Reads, YouTube
'[The Historians] zooms in with characteristic musicality and intelligence on what the stories that are often overlooked - those of women'
Rishi Dastidar, The Guardian Poetry Books of the Year 2020
'It is, as came to be expected from Boland, filled with stories of ordinary Irish women, sensitively rendered in her understated verse. In revisiting the otherwise erased experiences of her subjects, Boland asks us to reconfigure our own understanding of the past, though she acknowledges the difficulties of that, too'
The New Statesman
'There's a poignancy here that is hard to avoid... This modest collection is welcome and those who have not read Boland - few though they may be - will find here at least an introduction to her always-potent art. For others, it will serve as a coda to a poetic life well lived.'
Books Ireland Magazine
'It feels, reading it in the wake of her death, to be unsettlingly prophetic, a fitting close to the life's work of a great poet'
Seán Hewitt, The Irish Times
'... a rich, unsettling moral adventure in memory and responsibility.'
Eavan Boland's A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet contains essays both personal and public written in a tone urgent and wise, with astute observations on her own trajectory as a poet and the work of Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath and Paula Meehan, among others.
Colm Toibin, The Irish Times, Our Favourite Books of 2011
Praise for Paula Meehan 'These are poems fuelled by a fierce perception and generosity of spirit, joyfully and sorrowfully open to human frailty, passion, the natural world - what it means to be human. Even in the darkness of grief and loss Paula Meehan celebrates life with a visceral, flaying attention. It is as if anger, grace and wit have been hammered white-hot into the finest shining tool and ornament. '
Maura Dooley 'In Painting Rain Paula Meehan makes music that is a powerful confluence of themes: a field lost to a housing development, a north wind that whines through the dunes, an Irish mother whose daughters 'taught their mother barring orders and legal separation'. Each poem is powerful on its own, demanding and holding the white space of each page, but the cumulative effect is one of great wisdom and authority. Meehan had that special grace from the start, but now immensities have crystallized around each lyric she writes. Don't miss this work: Painting Rain is her finest book yet.'
'Paula Meehan is that rare and precious thing - a vocational poet of courage and integrity. Already much-loved and admired far beyond the shores of her native Ireland, Meehan advances her claim on our hearts and minds with Painting Rain. From present-day Dublin to Ancient Greece, the myths and flawed heroes of her poems give back to us our own lives, counted out in illuminated moments of joy, pain, love and memory.'
Carol Ann Duffy
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