Eavan Boland was one of the foremost female Irish writers. Being a female poet in Ireland presented many challenges for Boland. In her collection of essays, ‘Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time’ she articulates the issues she faced as a high-profile female poet in a culture in which the words ‘female’ and ‘poet’ were often seen as antithetical.  

Irish by birth, Eavan Boland spent her childhood in London and New York. Returning to Dublin as a student, she published her first collection of poems at the precocious age of eighteen while studying for a degree at Trinity College. 

Preoccupied with issues of language, place, history and identity, Boland’s work explores the poetry of ordinary, everyday experience. Seen by some critics as a feminist, she is prepared to write unflinchingly about private and taboo subjects, such as infanticide and domestic violence. For Boland the private and the personal can be political. In particular her poetry often confronts and subverts traditional, conservative concepts of womanhood. She has, according to critics, ‘altered the contours of Irish writing’.

Poems by Eavan Boland

The War Horse - Eavan Boland

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