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Eavan Boland Posthumously Wins Costa Poetry Award

Tuesday, 5 Jan 2021

Costa Prize 2020 It's an honour and a joy to announce that the late Eavan Boland's final volume The Historians has won the 2020 Costa Book Awards in the Poetry category! It was described by the judges as having “some of the finest lines of poetry written this century”.

The other category winners are as follows:

Winner of the 2020 First Novel Award: Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud (Faber)

Winner of the 2020 Novel Award: The Mermaid of Black Conch: A Love Story by Monique Roffey (Peepal Tree)

Winner of the 2020 Biography Award: The Louder I Will Sing by Lee Lawrence (Sphere)

Winner of the 2020 Poetry Award: The Historians by Eavan Boland (Carcanet)

Winner of the 2020 Children's Book Award: Voyage of the Sparrowhawk by Natasha Farrant (Faber)

Throughout her nearly sixty-year career, acclaimed poet Eavan Boland came to be known for her exquisite ability to weave myth, history and the life of an ordinary woman into mesmerising poetry. Her final volume, The Historians, is the culmination of her signature themes, exploring the ways in which the hidden, sometimes all-but-erased stories of women's lives can powerfully revise our sense of the past.

The news was announced on January 4th on BBC Radio 4's Front Row, which you can listen to here. The overall Costa Book of the Year winner will be announced on January 26th. Find out more about the prize and the category winners at the Costa Book Awards website here. The news has also been covered in The Bookseller and BookBrunch, and here in The Irish Times. With many thanks to the judges, and all winners and other shortlisted authors and publishers.

Tune in to Front Row again on Tuesday 5th January to hear Eavan's biographer Jody Allen Randolph in conversation about her and her work. You can also listen to our founder and managing director, Michael Schmidt, talking about the book and Eavan's poetry on RTÉ Radio 1 News here, which also includes a recording of Eavan reading a poem.
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 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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