Helen Shaw weaves together the life and work of Irish poet Eavan Boland.

Boland's father, was a career diplomat and her mother, a noted post-expressionist painter. Eavan was born in Dublin in 1944. At the age of six, Boland's father was appointed Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom; the family followed him to London, where Boland had her first experiences of anti-Irish sentiment. Her dealing with this hostility strengthened Boland's identification with her Irish heritage.

Eavan’s experiences as a wife and mother have influenced her to write about the centrality of the ordinary, as well as providing a frame for more political and historical themes.

In this documentary, Eavan revisits Holles Street Maternity hospital where she was poet in residence during the centenary of the hospital in 1994.

Eavan has taught at many colleges across the world - including Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Bowdoin College, University of Iowa and Stanford University.

Throughout this documentary, Eavan recites her own poetry.

Produced by Helen Shaw

First Broadcast January 21st 1996.

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries