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Eilean Ni Chuilleanain Biography

(1942– ), Cyphers, Acts and Monuments, Site of Ambush, The Rose-Geranium, The Second Voyage

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Irish poet, born in Cork, educated at University College, Cork, and at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. In 1966 she became a lecturer at Trinity College, Dublin, and was a founding editor of Cyphers, one of the city's leading literary periodicals. Acts and Monuments (1972), her first collection of poetry, was followed by subsequent volumes including Site of Ambush (1975), The Rose-Geranium (1981), The Second Voyage (1986), The Magdalene Sermon (1989), and The Brazen Serpent (1994). Her remark that ‘The problem of addressing the special (Irish) audience in a special (female) voice remains unsolved and many of my poems are attempts to solve it’ indicates the deep concern with identity which underruns much of her work. Gaelic and classical material is fused with intensely personal imaginative responses in a number of her poems. The characteristic clarity of her imagery, often conveying mysteriously evocative qualities, is sensitively used in portraying disregarded aspects of her native city in Cork (1977), her collaboration with the artist Brian Lalor.

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