Eavan Boland was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1944. She received her B.A. from Trinity College in 1966 was also educated in London and New York.
Her books of poetry include New Collected Poems (W.W. Norton & Co., 2008), Domestic Violence, (2007), Against Love Poems (2001), The Lost Land (1998), An Origin Like Water: Collected Poems 1967-1987 (1996), In a Time of Violence (1994), Outside History: Selected Poems 1980-1990 (1990),The Journey and Other Poems (1986), Night Feed (1982), and In Her Own Image (1980).
In a review for the Times Literary Supplement, Clare Wills noted that “Boland is a master at reading history in the configurations of landscape, at seeing space as the registration of time. If only we know how to look, there are means of deciphering the hidden, fragmentary messages from the past, of recovering lives from history’s enigmatic scramblings.”
In addition to her books of poetry, Boland is also the author of Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time (W. W. Norton, 1995), a volume of prose, After Every War (Princeton, 2004), an anthology of German women poets, and she co-edited The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (with Mark Strand; W. W. Norton & Co., 2000).
Her awards include a Lannan Foundation Award in Poetry, an American Ireland Fund Literary Award, a Jacob’s Award for her involvement in The Arts Programme broadcast on RTÉ Radio, and an honorary degree from Trinity.
She has taught at Trinity College, University College, Bowdoin College, and she was a member of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. She is also a regular reviewer for the Irish Times.
In an interview with Elizabeth Schmidt for American Poet, Boland stated that “I just wanted to find a way of conveying how things change from the ordinary to the familiar, from the familiar to the known, from the known to the visionary. How the same thing can be seen differently over and over again. I was in a flat in Dublin when I was a student for a few years. It had a table in one room, a window over a garden. There was nothing remarkable about any of it, except that remarkable things happened to me there–I wrote my first real poems in that room and began to believe and hope I was a poet there.”
Currently, she is a professor of English at Stanford University where she directs the creative writing program.