Irish PEN was deeply saddened by the passing of Eavan Boland on 27th April 2020. One of Ireland’s greatest poets, Eavan had been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature.
She was due to receive this award on the 22nd March of this year, surrounded by her peers and admirers. We should have had the opportunity to celebrate her in person, to acknowledge her achievements both as a poet and fearless champion of women writers. But Covid19 intervened and the Award event had to be postponed. We planned that our Irish PEN celebration would instead take place to coincide with Eavan’s forthcoming publication, The Historians, scheduled for September 2020. (WW Norton and Carcanet Press) Her untimely death is a source of deep sadness to us all and we offer our sincere condolences to her family, friends and colleagues around the world.
Eavan Boland was the recipient of numerous accolades throughout her long career, among them a Lannan Foundation Award, the PEN Award for creative non-fiction for A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet, the Corrington Medal for Literary Excellence and the Bucknell Medal of Distinction. She held honorary degrees from, among others, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, and Strathclyde University Scotland.
Her books of poetry include Against Love Poetry (W.W. Norton & Co.,2001), which was a New York Times notable book of 2001. Also, The Lost Land (1998), In a Time of Violence (1994), Outside History: Selected Poems 1980-1990 (1990). In addition to her books of poetry, Boland was also the author of Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time (W. W. Norton, 1995), and co-editor of The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (with Mark Strand; W. W. Norton & Co., 2000) and The Making of a Sonnet:A Norton Anthology of the sonnet, co-edited withEdwards Hirsch in 2008. Eavan Boland published a volume of translations called After Every War with Princeton University Press in 2004. Her New Collected Poems was published by Norton in 2008 and New Selected Poems by Carcanet Press in 2013. Published in 2015 : (Carcanet Press) and A Woman Without a Country (WW Norton and Carcanet Press).
In 2011 she published A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet which won the 2012 Pen award for non-fiction. In 2016: Eavan Boland: A Poet’s Dublin (WW.Norton) was published and a new volume of poetry, The Historians, will be published (WWNorton & Carcanet Press) in September 2020.
Volumes of her poetry have been translated into French, Hebrew, Spanish, Turkish, Galician and Italian.
In 2016 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017 she was awarded the Boh Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award by Books Ireland. In 2017 she was elected an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin.