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Eavan Boland Sourcebook

Eavan Boland

Edited by Jody Allen Randolph

The Eavan Boland Sourcebook
Categories: 21st Century, Irish, Women
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (284 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2007)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • 'Where a poet stands in a poem isn't just arbitrary. I was troubled by the idea of a readymade authority in the Irish poem: who had it, and who didn't. So I wanted to make my own authority...was trying to find my own space. That was what mattered most of all.'

                                                    Eavan Boland, 2006
    The Eavan Boland Sourcebook is an essential companion to the poetry, prose and critical writing of this acclaimed poet. Jody Allen Randolph has been a teacher and interpreter of Boland's work for many years and gathers here a rich collection of literary and critical texts, illuminating the poet's achievements for students and general readers alike. The Sourcebook includes:

    • a biographical introduction and chronology
    • introductory surveys of each aspect of Boland's work
    • a representative selection of Boland's poetry and prose writings
    • interviews from 1987 to 2006
    • reviews and critical discussions of each of Boland's books
    • photographs
    • a comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources



    Acknowledgements         xi

    Preface     xiii

    Chronology xix


    Part I   Poetry

    Editor’s Note 2

    fromNew Territory (1967)

        Athene’s Song            6

        From the Painting Back from Market by Chardin   7

    from The War Horse (1975)

        The War Horse          7

        Child of Our Time            9

    from In Her Own Image (1980)

        Anorexic  9

    from Night Feed (1982)

        Domestic Interior       11

        Degas’s Laundresses    12

        Night Feed    14

    from The Journey (1986)

        Mise Eire 15

        The Emigrant Irish    16

        The Journey    17

    from Outside History (1990)

        The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me             20

        Outside History       21

        What We Lost           22

    from In a Time of Violence (1994)

        That the Science of Cartography is Limited      23

        Love       24

        ThePomegranate    25

        The Singers    27

        This Moment     27

        Anna Liffey    28

    from The Lost Land (1998)

        Heroic    34

        The Blossom    34

    from Code (2001)

        Thankëd be Fortune      35

        Is It Still the Same        36

        Quarantine    37

        Irish Poetry    37

    from Domestic Violence (2007)

        Domestic Violence    38

        An Elegy for My Mother In Which She ScarcelyAppears     40

        Amber    41


    Part II   Prose

    Editor’s Note    44

    from “Author’s Preface” ObjectLessons    47

    from “Daughter” 51

    from “In Search of a Nation”       55

    from “In Search of a Language” 57

    from “Turning Away”        61

    fromOutside History      67

    from “Religion and Poetry” 74

    from “The Irish Woman Poet: Her Place in Irish Literature”  76

    from “Letter to a Young Woman Poet”    78

    from “Subject Matters”     80

    from “Domestic Violence”   82

    “The Weasel’s Tooth”        87

    “Holles Street”    91

    About “This Moment”    93

    “A Question”    94


    Part III  Interviews

    Editor’s Note    100

    JodyAllen Randolph, “An Interview with Eavan Boland”    102

    Deborah Tall, “Q & A withEavan Boland”    113

    Marilyn Reizbaum, “An Interviewwith Eavan Boland”    115

    Jan Garden Castro, “The Voice ofEavan Boland”    116

    Elizabeth Schmidt, “Where PoetryBegins”    121

    Margaret Mills Harper, “EavanBoland: An Interview” 123

    Vicki Bertram, “DefiningCircumstances” 125

    Alice Quinn, “The Stoicisms ofLove”       127

    Caffeine Destiny Interview  129

    Smartish Pace Poets Q & A          132

    Pilar Villar, “The Text of It”    137

    Jody Allen Randolph, “A BackwardLook”       141


    Part IV  Reviews and Criticism

    Editor’sNote    146

    AlbertGelpi, from “‘Hazard and Death’: ThePoetry of
    Eavan Boland” 148

    MaryO’Malley, “Poetry, Womanhood, and ‘I amn’t’” 156

    SharaMcCallum, “Eavan Boland’s Gift: Sex, History,
    and Myth”            160

    Mary O’Donnell, fromIn Her OwnImage: An Assertion
    that Myths Are Made by Men, by the Poet in Transition”            167

    TerenceBrown, from “Heart Mysteries There: The War Horse            168

    R.T.Smith, from “Altered Light: Outside History 173

    MichaelThurston, from “‘A DeliberateCollection of Cross Purposes’: Eavan Boland’s Poetic Sequences”            176

    HelenLojek, from “Man, Woman, Soldier:Heaney’s ‘In Memoriam Francis Ledwidge’ and Boland’s ‘Heroic’ 178

    AnneFogarty, Review of New Collected Poems    184


    SelectedBibliography    187

    Index of Titles and First Lines    249

    Subject Index    251



    Eavan Boland
    Born in Dublin in 1944, Eavan Boland studied in Ireland, London and New York. Her first book was published in 1967. She has taught at Trinity College, University College Dublin, Bowdoin College in Maine, and at the University of Iowa. She was Mabury Knapp Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, ... read more
    Jody Allen Randolph
    Jody Allen Randolph was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at University College Dublin before earning her doctorate in British and American Literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She served as Assistant Dean of the British Studies at Oxford Programme at St. John's College, Oxford and has taught ... read more
    Awards won by Eavan Boland Winner, 2020 Costa Poetry Award
    (The Historians)
    Winner, 2017 Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement 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.'

    Maya C. Popa, Poetry Review

    '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'

    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.'

    Poetry Book Society Winter Bulletin

    'The first poem in Boland's book, The Fire Gilder, is one of the best Irish poems of the past half-century.'

    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.'
    Theo Dorgan
     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
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