An expansive, celebratory collection from “one of the finest and boldest poets of the last half century” (Poetry Review).
An Origin Like Water: Poems 1967–1987 confirmed Eavan Boland’s place at the forefront of modern Irish poetry. New Collected Poems now brings the record of her achievement up to date, adding material from her subsequent volumes and filling out key poems from the early years. Following the chronology of publication, the reader experiences the exhilarating sense of development, now incremental, now momentous. Boland’s work traces a measured process of emancipation from conventions and stereotypes, writing now in a space she has cleared not by violent rejection, but by dialogue, critical engagement, and patient experimentation with form, theme, and language.
About the Author
Eavan Boland (1944—2020) was the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry, including Outside History and several volumes of nonfiction, and was coeditor of the anthology The Making of Poem. Born in Dublin, Ireland, she was one of the foremost female voices in Irish literature. She received a Lannan Foundation Award and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award, among other honors. She taught at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Bowdoin College, and Stanford University, where she was the director of the creative writing program.
Boland’s resilient braid of outspoken feminism with Irish identity has given her a following on both sides of the Atlantic…Here is the poet who learned from Adrienne Rich, among others, how to tackle big topics of loyalty, rebellion, descent and dissent.
— Publishers Weekly
While still attuned to the silences of the past, Eavan Boland challenges us to accept the consequences of female mastery, as she explores ways of writing about purpose and continuity, success and certainty.
— Times Literary Supplement
The finest evidence ever assembled of the escape from the grip of a tradition. If the procedure of Art is to resist the real while conferring unity upon it, then Eavan Boland, in resisting male histories, has conferred a new meaning upon the phrase ‘Irish poetry.’ How blessed we all are that she abandoned swans.
— Irish Times
Eavan Boland lives in a different world, one from which she can see not only ‘the Dublin mountains,’ but a looming poetic tradition and the wastes of European history.
— New York Times Book Review