Contact:  Dr. David Havird, English Department, 318-869-5085 or 869-5254, or 
Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Irish Poet Eavan Boland to Receive Centenary's Corrington Award for Literary Excellence on Oct. 24 

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Eavan Boland, Ireland's preeminent female poet, will receive the 13th annual John William Corrington Eavan BolandAward for Literary Excellence and read from her work at Centenary College on Thursday, Oct. 24.  The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. in the Smith Building's Kilpatrick Auditorium on the Centenary campus.  Sponsored by the Student Government Association and the English Department, the event is free and open to the public.

Boland is by critical consensus the "first major woman poet in the Irish poetic tradition."  Her work, which includes non-fiction prose as well as verse, examines the relationship between public discourse and private memory and personal experience.  

She is the author of nine volumes of poetry, the most recent being Against Love Poetry, which was acclaimed by The New York Times as one of the "notable books" of 2001.  According to the reviewer for the Times, that book with its provocative title "argues by example that the sweet, swooning verse we've come to associate with the phrase 'love poetry' is not the real thing at all.  That kind of verse, she writes in the title poem, 'can do no justice to . . . the contradictions of a daily love.'" 

Boland is the author also of a collection of autobiographical essays, Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time (1995).  With the poet Mark Strand, she published in 2000 a handbook for poets, The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. All first-year students at Centenary are reading Boland's retrospective collection Outside History: Selected Poems 1980-1990.

Boland was born in Dublin in 1944.  Her mother was a painter, her father a diplomat.  Boland spent much of her childhood in London, where her father was the Irish ambassador to Britain, and in New York City, where he represented Ireland in the United Nations.  She was educated at Trinity College, Dublin.  In 1969, she married the novelist Kevin Casey.  She is the mother of two daughters.  Since 1996, she has divided her time between Dublin and Stanford, Calif., where she directs the creative writing program at Stanford University.

Boland was the recipient of a prestigious Lannan Foundation Award in Poetry in 1994. 

Previous recipients of Centenary's Corrington Award are Eudora Welty, Ernest J. Gaines, James Dickey, Miller Williams, Lee Smith, Paul Auster, Elizabeth Spencer, Anthony Hecht, Richard Wilbur, Eleanor Wilner, Richard Powers and C. K. Williams.

The Corrington Award is named for the Centenary alumnus and author of the short novel Decoration Day who died in 1988.  The award takes the form of a bronze medal designed by the internationally acclaimed Louisiana sculptor Clyde Connell.

For further information, contact David Havird, Department of English, at (318) 869-5085 or 869-5254.

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