Poetry Ireland mourns the loss of Eavan Boland

27th April 2020

Everyone in Poetry Ireland is devastated to learn of the sudden death of Eavan Boland. We treasure our connection with her. As editor of Poetry Ireland Review for the past three years, she was unfailingly generous with her time, and always astute and inclusive in the choices she made. The cover letter for each submission was read with as much appreciation as were the poems, for people interested her just as much as poetry. The journey the poet makes to put pen to paper, to send a set of poems for her consideration, this was as important to her as any poetic reputation. So her issues of the journal were always wonderfully democratic, the award-winning poet and the unheralded poet side-by-side. All of us in Poetry Ireland admired her energy and clear thinking and we hugely valued the world that she opened up for us. She was funny and warm and delightfully no-nonsense. We are thinking of her family so much at this time, of whom she was so proud. 

'For nearly thirty years I have had the privilege of knowing Eavan the person, and Eavan Boland the poet. She was a stalwart supporter of change when I was Chair of the Arts Council in the 1990s. Her status as a poet is outstanding, and just tributes will long be paid.

It is her status as a person that should also be remembered, her steely commitment to justice, her kindness, her  wry sense of humour, her deep sense of how the world works, changes and ought to change, and her generous encouragement of the young. Her loss is a loss to many worlds, national, international and personal.'

(Ciarán Benson, Chair of Poetry Ireland).