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This interview is taken from PN Review 133, Volume 26 Number 5, May - June 2000.

in conversation with Eavan Boland Jody Allen Randolph

JODY ALLEN RANDOLPH: Your life has really altered in the last few years. You teach at Stanford now and you are Director of the Creative Writing Programme there. Has it been a big shift to go into the teaching environment of a large American university?

EAVAN BOLAND: It's certainly a change. More structured and challenging, in the day-to-day working sense, than anything I'd done before. It has needed some juggling and readjustments. It has also had many rewards. Stanford is a fascinating, challenging place. It has a superb English Department and Creative Writing Program, and wonderful colleagues. Adrienne Rich and Denise Levertov were also there, and I feel honoured to have that association. I've found some cherished new friends. And I'm very glad of the conversations I've been able to have with American poets, either when I travel or when they come to Stanford, as well as those in the programme.

My hope here is to look back over some of your decades as an Irish poet, not so much to scrutinize individual poems, as to take 'a backward look' at the environment in which you wrote them, and the issues around that environment. I'd like to talk about some of the changes and forces that played out both there and in your own work. I am particularly interested in the 1960s. It seems to me a watershed in Irish poetry. Were you conscious of that at the time?

I ...


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