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A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet

About the Author

Eavan Boland

Eavan Boland is Irish. She has been writer in residence at Trinity College and University College Dublin. She was poet in residence at the National Maternity Hospital during its 1994 Centenary. She has also been the Hurst Professor at Washington University and Regent's Lecturer at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is on the board of the Irish Arts Council and a member of the Irish Academy of Letters. She is on the advisory board of the International Writers Center at Washington University. She has published ten volumes of poetry, the most recent being New Collected Poems (2008) and Domestic Violence (2007) and An Origin Like Water: Collected Poems...

W.W. Norton & Company
2011

"This is a book of being and becoming.  It is about being a poet.  It is also about the long process of becoming one," writes Eavan Boland.  These inspiring essays are both critical and deeply personal, allowing the adventure, passion, and struggle of becoming a woman poet to be viewed from different perspectives.  Boland traces her own experiences as a woman, wife, and mother and their effects on her poetry.  In the opening essay, she explores the story of her mother, a painter, and her influence on Boland's own concepts of art and womanhood.  She examines the work of women poets such as Adrienne Rich, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Sylvia Plath, whose poetry provided light and guidance for her own work.  And finally, in "Letter to a Young Woman Poet," she addresses an unseen young poet of the future, and looks to a world where this future artist can change the poetic past as well as the present.