Eavan Boland is a professor of English and the current director of Stanford’s Creative Writing Program. A native of Ireland, Boland has become “one of the foremost female voices in Irish literature.” She has published ten volumes of poetry over the years, most recently “New Collected Poems” in 2008 and “Domestic Violence” in 2007.
The 1980 collection “In Her Own Image” first brought her international recognition. It dealt with domestic violence, anorexia, infanticide, and cancer, demonstrating one of the themes of Boland’s work to date: women in Irish literature and society. She has also become known for focusing on the ordinary, pointing in her work to everyday objects and events with a nod to the beauty found in quotidian life.
Her prose work “Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time,” which drew heavily on autobiography, was published in 1996, about a year after arrival at Stanford. Previously, she was writer in residence at Trinity College (her alma mater) and University College in Dublin, and poet in residence at the National Maternity Hospital. She taught at Bowdoin College, Washington University, and UC Santa Barbara and is involved with the Irish Arts Council, the Irish Academy of Letters, and the International Writers Center at Washington University.
Most recently, she won the 2012 PEN Literary Award in the Creative Nonfiction category for her book “A Journey With Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet.”
In an interview for PBS in March 2012, Boland said, “I’m really fortunate to be at Stanford. I go home every 10 weeks, but Stanford apart from being just a wonderful university is one of the places that are part of a great conversation.”