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This review is taken from PN Review 184, Volume 35 Number 2, November - December 2008.

MAGICAL AND BLUNT EILÉAN NÍ CHUILLEANÁIN, Selected Poems (Faber) £12.99

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin has been at the centre of Irish women's writing for the last four decades now. As both founder and editor of Cyphers, Ireland's longest established literary periodical (and now current editor of Poetry Ireland Review), and author of seven books of poetry, carrying off some of Ireland's most prestigious literary awards, including the Patrick Kavanagh Award and the O'Shaughnessy Poetry Award, she has been one of the most influential figures in post-war Irish poetry. However, with a name less pronounceable than Eavan Boland's, and a poetic less in tune with Anglo-American feminism, Ní Chuilleanáin's profile outside Ireland has yet to match her importance there. A new Faber Selected (published by The Gallery Press in Ireland) gives British readers a chance to reconsider the work of one of Ireland's most important living poets.

Ní Chuilleanáin was born in Cork in 1942 and, after studying at University College Cork and Oxford, published her first collection of poetry, Acts and Monuments, in 1972. She has since published six collections, and spent her entire working life as an academic at Trinity College, Dublin, where she is now an associate professor of English Literature, specialising in the Renaissance. Her work typically negotiates a conflict between Irish and particularly English traditions, though increasingly in this volume the poetry also attempts to create a European sense of Irish identity - since 1999 Ní Chuilleanáin has published English versions of ...


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