Pillars of a City: Celebrating poets Eavan Boland & Thomas Kinsella
Sunday 29th May, 7pm. Merrion Square Park (The Speranza)
Join us for a celebration of two of Ireland’s most cherished poets, in the city they called home.
In their respective lifetimes, poets and critics Eavan Boland and Thomas Kinsella truly embodied the ancient role of the poet as visionary, as moral conscience for society. Both of these towering figures were lost to Dublin, and to the city of poetry itself, during lockdown, and now it’s time to celebrate, publicly, their lives and work.
Joining us for this very special evening are poets Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Louis de Paor, Gerard Smyth and Lucy Collins, with readings by actors Barry McGovern, Jane Brennan and Stephen Rea (on screen). Musicians Frankie Gavin and Néillidh Mulligan will perform and the evening will also feature musical settings of Boland’s poems by Colm Ó Foghlú and archival recordings featuring both poets.
In their interrogations of the political and cultural spheres, and in their depictions of the intimate moments of human existence in the wider narrative of history, neither shied away from the controversial or the unspeakable. Each, in their own way, gave voice to the voiceless, using their poetry to articulate the concerns of their generation.
Eavan Boland was born in Dublin in 1944. As an academic, she taught in Ireland and the USA, including Trinity College and University College Dublin and as professor and director of the creative writing program at Stanford University. She passed away in April 2020.
Thomas Kinsella was born in Dublin in 1928. After leaving the Irish Civil Service, he became a full-time writer and teacher in the USA. He produced over thirty books of poetry and essays. He died in 2021 at the age of 93.
‘Boland is one of the finest and boldest poets of the last half-century’ – Elaine Feinstein
‘Thomas Kinsella is the most important and the most compendious Irish poet since Yeats’ – Thomas H. Jackson
Event curated and directed by Vincent Woods.
Presented by ILFDublin in association with Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.