Eavan Boland's cosmopolitan upbringing has created in her a curious imaginative provincialism.

Eavan Boland was born in Dublin in 1944. Her father was an international diplomat so the family moved around and Eavan was educated in London and New York. She returned to Ireland in 1960 and completed her secondary school education at the Holy Child Convent in Killiney before completing a degree in English at Trinity College Dublin.

In 1967, Eavan joined the Trinity College lecturing staff but after a year lecturing, she gave up her position and turned to poetry. In 1968, Eavan published her first volume of poems 'New Territory' earning her the McCawley Fellowship Award. In the same year, she married novelist Kevin Casey. Her second publication ‘The War Horse’ was published in 1975 to critical acclaim.

Eavan Boland joins Augustine Martin to discuss her life and work beginning with her "wide ranging cosmopolitan education". Eavan says that her international education, rather than producing a cosmopolitan perspective in her, produced what she describes as "a curious imaginative provincialism". She recalls at the age of nine or ten, while living in England, lying awake at night dreaming of Ireland in the way that an adopted child would long to meet their natural parents. However, when she finally returned to Ireland, she was met by a modern, urban country very different to what she had imagined.

I think writing is very much a private search and a private adventure.

This episode of ‘Writer in Profile’ was broadcast on 13 September 1976. The presenter is Augustine Martin. The programme was produced by James Plunkett.