Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

eilean_W9U3083Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin was born in Cork in 1942. Her father, Cormac O’Chuilleanáin was a university professor of Irish, and her mother, Eilis Dillon, was a prolific novelist. She graduated from University College Cork in 1962, with a B.A. in English and history, followed by a master’s in English in 1964. She later studied at Oxford. Ní Chuilleanáin was Associate Professor of English, Dean of the Faculty of Arts (Letters), and a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin until her retirement in 2011. Since then she has continued to teach an option on John Donne and also contributes to the M.Phil in Medieval Language, Literature and Culture, and to the M.Phils in Literary Translation and Comparative Literature, in the School of  Modern Languages Literatures and Cultures.

She edits the literary journal, Cyphers, with two other poet-editors, including her husband MacDara Woods. She and her husband have a son, Niall.

She is often cited not only as a major poet in the generation after Kinsella, Montague and Murphy, but also as the foremost female poet now writing in Ireland and Great Britain.

She won the Patrick Kavanagh Award for her first book, Acts and Monuments (1966), which was followed by Site of Ambush (1975), both published by the Gallery Press. Selections from these two books, published by Wake Forest University Press as The Second Voyage (1977), were re-issued in 1991 in a revised version, complimentary to a new book, The Magdalene Sermon and Earlier Poems. The Magdalene Sermon was chosen as one of the three best books of poetry of 1989 by the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Poetry Book Prize Committee. Wake Forest published The Brazen Serpent in 1995, and included many of her poems in The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry, 1967-2000, which came out in 1999. She and Medbh McGuckian translated the poems of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill in The Water Horse (2001), and her volume, The Girl Who Married the Reindeer, came out in 2002. Wake Forest published her Selected Poems in 2009, and The Sun-fish, which was the International Winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2010. Wake Forest published The Legend of the Walled-Up Wife, translations from the Romanian poetry of Ileana Mӑlӑncioiu, in 2012. Her most recent volume, The Boys of Bluehill, will come out in North America in April 2015. 

In 1992, she was awarded the prestigious O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award by The Irish American Cultural Institute, which called her “among the very best poets of her generation.”

A Brief Interview with Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Hear Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin read three poems (from the BBC Today):

Books by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Sun-Fish (clothbound) (USED)

Winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize from the Griffin Poetry Prize Judges’ Citation: “This beguiling poet opens many doors onto multiple worlds. From the outset, with the startling imagery of ‘The Witch in the Wardrobe’… $15.00 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Magdalene Sermon and Earlier Poems (USED)

“It is the ‘green leaf of language’ twisting through these poems that gives the reader the necessary encouragement to enter into a world of strange occurences, of not totally comprehensible connections, of conversations without… $7.00 - view details

The Shack: Irish Poets in the Foothills and Mountains of the Blue Ridge

In The Shack, contemporary Irish poets reflect on their time in the foothills and mountains that straddle North Carolina and Virginia. $15.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Second Voyage (USED)

“Her voice and technique are so solid, so secure, and contain deep echoes of older poetry, as Irish verse tends to do.” Robert Hudson, WorkingPoet.com “All through the book, she presents a world which she marks… $10.00 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin | The Boys of Bluehill

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is a consummate poet whose revelatory imagery and sensibility are unrivaled in depth and refinement. The Boys of Bluehill displays all of the insight and mystery that characterize her best work… $13.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Brazen Serpent (clothbound) (USED)

“It’s the quiet confidence of her voice, its modesty, its convinced seriousness and toughness, its thoughtful discretion and its refusal of easy options that I especially like, as well as the kind of hard… $8.00 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: Legend of the Walled-Up Wife

   from the Romanian of Ileana Mӑlӑncioiu Legend of the Walled-Up Wife Ileana Mӑlӑncioiu is considered a hero and visionary in Romania, where she lived under the oppressive Ceauşescu regime, learning to make oblique statement both her art… $12.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Sun-Fish

Winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize from the Griffin Poetry Prize Judges’ Citation: “This beguiling poet opens many doors onto multiple worlds. From the outset, with the startling imagery of ‘The Witch in the… $12.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Sun-Fish (clothbound)

Winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize from the Griffin Poetry Prize Judges’ Citation: “This beguiling poet opens many doors onto multiple worlds. From the outset, with the startling imagery of ‘The Witch in the Wardrobe’… $18.00$21.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: Selected Poems

“There is something second-sighted about Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s work. Her poems see things anew, in a rinsed and dreamstruck light. They are at once as plain as an anecdote told on the doorstep and as… $12.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Girl Who Married the Reindeer

“Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s new collection of poems, The Girl who Married the Reindeer, brings together poems so elegant and difficult, rich and haunting, that this slim volume stands as both her finest achievement to date… $10.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Girl Who Married the Reindeer (clothbound)

“Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s new collection of poems, The Girl who Married the Reindeer, brings together poems so elegant and difficult, rich and haunting, that this slim volume stands as both her finest achievement to date… $18.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Brazen Serpent

“It’s the quiet confidence of her voice, its modesty, its convinced seriousness and toughness, its thoughtful discretion and its refusal of easy options that I especially like, as well as the kind of hard… $7.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Brazen Serpent (clothbound)

“It’s the quiet confidence of her voice, its modesty, its convinced seriousness and toughness, its thoughtful discretion and its refusal of easy options that I especially like, as well as the kind of hard… $13.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Magdalene Sermon and Earlier Poems

“It is the ‘green leaf of language’ twisting through these poems that gives the reader the necessary encouragement to enter into a world of strange occurences, of not totally comprehensible connections, of conversations without… $8.95 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Second Voyage (revised) (USED)

“Her voice and technique are so solid, so secure, and contain deep echoes of older poetry, as Irish verse tends to do.” Robert Hudson, WorkingPoet.com “All through the book, she presents a world which she marks… $9.00 - view details

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: The Second Voyage

“Her voice and technique are so solid, so secure, and contain deep echoes of older poetry, as Irish verse tends to do.” Robert Hudson, WorkingPoet.com “All through the book, she presents a world which she marks… $25.00 - view details