Eavan Boland—A Transatlantic Tribute

Presented by Poetry Ireland, Irish Arts Center, and the Embassy of Ireland to the United States


FREE 1 hour

Wed, May 27, 2020




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In the end
Everything that burdened and distinguished me
Will be lost in this:
I was a voice.

A month after her passing, Poetry Ireland, the Irish Arts Center and the Embassy of Ireland to the United States invite you to join us in a transatlantic tribute to Eavan Boland. 

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Our program includes some of Ireland and America’s finest writers, alongside political leaders, diplomats, activists and academics who revered Eavan as a poet, teacher, colleague and friend. Contributors include: former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson; Mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan; Ireland’s Ambassador to the US, Daniel Mulhall, and Permanent Representative to the UN, Geraldine Byrne Nason; Chelsea ClintonKevin Young, poetry editor of the New Yorker; novelists and short story writers Tobias Wolff and Belinda McKeon; and poets Paula MeehanAlvy CarragherMarie Howe and Solmaz Sharif, musician Loah; and Poetry Aloud winner Michael Tient among its many guest speakers and readers from across the United States and Ireland. Hosted by Maureen Kennelly, of the Arts Council of Ireland; Rachael Gilkey, of Irish Arts Center; and Christina Ablaza, of Stanford’s Creative Writing Program. 

Cherished as perhaps the outstanding poet of her generation, Eavan Boland’s imprint as an artist was truly global. But nowhere, outside of Ireland, was her influence more deeply felt than in the United States.

Born in Dublin, she wrote her first collection while studying at Trinity College, emerging as a poet into a literary scene where women were few and far between. Raising a family in suburban Dublin, her early writing was characterized by a focus on the inner lives of people, particularly women, who were excluded from the poetry canon.

As a young woman herself, Eavan had lived for a time in New York, while her father, Frederick Boland, served as Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the UN. In 2018, she returned to the UN Headquarters, reciting from “From Our Future Will Become the Past of Other Women," a poem commissioned from her by the government of Ireland to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland. Her influence on the east coast extended through the decades, including as a regular contributor to the New Yorker.

As Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Stanford for a quarter century, she guided the artistic development of some of America’s finest young writers and was revered as a teacher by thousands more. She played an equally inspiring role to emerging Irish writers through her position as editor of Poetry Ireland Review and through other involvements in Irish literature and culture. With the transatlantic focus to her life and work, she continually promoted connections between Irish and American artists.


Our Supporters

Irish Arts Center programs are supported, in part, by government, foundation, and corporate partners including Culture Ireland, the agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; Howard Gilman Foundation; Jerome L. Greene Foundation; the Charina Endowment Fund; the Ireland Funds; the Shubert Foundation, Inc.; the Irish Institute of New York; the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, New York; the Charles Lawrence Keith & Clara Miller Foundation; Northern Ireland Bureau; the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate of Ireland in New York; British Council; Morgan Stanley; Tourism Ireland; and thousands of generous donors like you.


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