The Poetry Programme

The Poetry Programme

Sunday at 7.30pm

The Poetry Programme Sunday 3 May 2020

Olivia O’Leary explores the diverse and vibrant world of poets and poetry in The Poetry Programme on Sundays at 7:30 pm.

You can contact the Poetry Programme by emailing, tweeting @PoetryProgRTE, or on our Facebook page

The spring 2020 series of the Poetry Programme has now ended. The programme will return for a new series in the autumn. 

You can also listen back to all previous programmes in the Programme Archive (see above right).

The Poetry Programme: For everyone who loves poetry. And those who just don’t know it yet.

A Rockfinch production for RTÉ.

Series Producer: Claire Cunningham. Researcher: Adam Wyeth. Executive Producer for RTÉ: Elizabeth Laragy

The Poetry Programme

The Poetry Programme

This week, the Poetry Programme pays tribute to the acclaimed poet Eavan Boland, who died on 27th April 2020. A Rockfinch production for RTÉ.

The Poetry Programme, Sunday 3rd May

Following the sudden death of the acclaimed poet Eavan Boland on Monday 27th April 2020, the Poetry Programme on Sunday 3rd May celebrates her life and work.

Eavan Boland and Olivia O'Leary in 2018

Eavan Boland was born in Dublin, studied in Ireland, London and New York, and published her first collection while she was still a student. She was Director of the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University in California and immensely supportive of young and emerging poets. Eavan was a pioneering figure in Irish poetry and one of the foremost voices in Irish literature.

Eavan's next, and, sadly, final collection of poetry, The Historians, is due for publication later this year by Carcanet Press. By kind permission of the publishers, Poetry Programme presenter Olivia O’Leary reads The Lamplighter, an as yet unpublished poem from that new collection.

We also listen back to an interview in 2018 when Eavan was a guest on the Poetry Programme and spoke about her poetry, the struggle of the early years, and her optimism about the current state of poetry in Ireland.

She also read a selection of her poems, including the much-loved Night Feed.

Also in the programme we hear a clip from her 2014 Michael Littleton Memorial Lecture with the ironic title Has Poetry A Future?

Eavan Boland

The Poetry Programme is available to listen back to after broadcast on the RTÉ radio player.

The Poetry Programme is a Rockfinch production for RTÉ. Series Producer: Claire Cunningham.

About The Show

Olivia O'Leary explores the diverse and vibrant world of poets and poetry. A Rockfinch production for RTÉ.

Music Played on the Show

Take Five

Take Five

Dave Brubeck




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Presented by Olivia O'Leary


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