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Eavan Boland (1944-2020)

Eavan Boland We're so sorry to share the news that Eavan Boland suffered a stroke and died last night at the age of 75.  She is survived by her husband, the writer Kevin Casey, and her two daughters, Eavan and Sarah, and four grandchildren.

Carcanet published 17 of Boland's books including Night Feed (1995) In a Time of Violence (1995), A Journey With Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet (2011) and most recently A Woman Without a Country (2014). She was a dear friend of Carcanet, deeply reverred and respected for her groundbreaking contribution to Irish poetry. She will be missed. 

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins paid this tribute: “With the passing of Eavan Boland Ireland has lost not only an internationally acclaimed poet, distinguished academic and author, but one of the most insightful inner sources of Irish life, not only in life as expressed but as sensed and experienced.

“It was her particular gift to reveal the beauty in the ordinary. 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.

“The revealing of a hidden Ireland, in terms of what was suffered, neglected, evaded, given insufficient credit, is a part of her achievement. If the long legacy of Irish poetry was a well from which she drew, its contemporary richness was recognised in her critical work. It owes much to her encouragement and generosity to fellow poets.

 “A passionate believer in poetry, in the editorial to her final issue as editor of Poetry Ireland Review she wrote: ‘The life of the poet is always a summons to try to set down some truth that was once true and will go on being true. No poet should have to worry about the public respect, or the lack of it, in which this art is held.”

“This was a principle by which she lived and wrote. She will be missed by all who have read her work and by students who have had the privilege of learning from her in any one of the academic institutions to which she made such a distinguished contribution, including Trinity College, University College Dublin and Stanford University.

“To all of us who had the privilege of knowing her, her passing is a source of great loss and sadness. To her husband Kevin, their daughters and the members of her extended family, her colleagues in poetry and her wide circle of friends, Sabina and I send our deepest condolences.”


Eavan Boland was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1944. Over the course of her long career, Eavan Boland emerged as one of the foremost female voices in Irish literature.Her first book was published in 1967. She has taught at Trinity College, University College and Bowdoin College Dublin, and at the University of Iowa. She was Mabury Knapp Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, California. A pioneering figure in Irish poetry, Boland's previous works include The Journey and other poems (1987), Night Feed (1994), The Lost Land (1998) and Code (2001). Her poems and essays have appeared in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Kenyon Review and American Poetry Review. She was a regular reviewer for the Irish Times. She divided her time between California and Dublin where she lived with her husband, the novelist Kevin Casey. Eavan died in Dublin on 27th April 2020.
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