Eavan Boland Passes Away – Poetry News April 29th

In today’s poetry news we bring you the sad news that Eavan Boland, Irish poet, has passed away at 75.

Eavan Boland, Celebrated Poet, Dies at 75

A renowned professor of English from Stanford University, and poet, Eavan Boland died at home in Dublin, Ireland at the age of 75. The cause of death was a stroke.

Boland was considered by many to be one of Irish literature’s leading female voices. She was an incredibly popular professor at Stanford where she taught creative writing, and former students and colleagues were quick to share their stories and memories on learning of her death.

Boland had recently returned to Dublin in order to spend her period of isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with her close family. She had been teaching 20th-century Irish literature classes remotely. Her reputation as a formidable teacher was well known, but she was also known to push her students to ensure that they produced their very best work. On campus, she was known for her dry humour and the generosity of her spirit.

Eavan Boland was born in 1944 in Dublin, Ireland. Her mother was a noted artist and her father, a diplomat. She spent some of her childhood in London and then New York before returning to Dublin where she studied at Trinity College.

She was a writer in residence at Trinity College, and the poet in residence at the National Maternity Hospital, before taking up a position at Stanford.

She was the author of 10 volumes of poetry, the first of which she wrote when she was just 18 years old. The majority of her poetry was published during her time at Stanford. She was inspired to write about a wide range of topics including mythology, her family, marriage, identity and nationhood.

Boland was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy and also the Irish Academy of Letter. She won numerous poetry awards during her career including in 2017 she was award with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Irish Book Awards.

Her 1994 collection “Time of Violence” was the recipient of a Lannan Award and also reached the shortlist of the TS Eliot Prize. She was honoured on the occasion of her 70th birthday with an event that took place at Abbey Theatre.

She was passionate about her writing but also about giving back to the community in which she lived and was a fierce advocate for young students just starting out on their writing journey.

She is survived by Kevin Casey; her husband, her two daughters and four grandchildren.

It is expected that there will be a memorial service at Stanford at some time in the future to celebrate her life.



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