Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Ní Chuilleanáin is the Vermeer of contemporary poetry. Her luminous interiors achieve great visual beauty, but should not be mistaken for exercises in escapism. They are sites where history and the individual brush against each other, force fields of action and radiant understanding . . . one of the most distinctive and rewarding bodies of work in contemporary poetry.

— Aingeal Clare, The Guardian

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Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (Photograph by Brian-McGovern)Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin was born in Cork City in 1942, educated there and at Oxford before spending her working life as an academic in Trinity College, Dublin. She was a founder member of Cyphers, a literary journal. She has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Irish Times Award for Poetry, the O’Shaughnessy Award of the Irish-American Cultural Institute which called her “among the very best poets of her generation”, and the International Griffin Poetry Prize.

Her collections include Acts and Monuments (1972, winner of the 1973 Patrick Kavanagh Award), Site of Ambush (1975), The Second Voyage (1977, 1986), The Rose Geranium (1981), The Magdalene Sermon (1989) which was shortlisted for the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Award, The Brazen Serpent (1994), The Girl Who Married the Reindeer (2001), Selected Poems (2008), The Sun-fish (2009, winner of the 2010 Griffin International Poetry Prize and a Poetry Book Society Recommendation), Legend of the Walled-up Wife (translations from the Romanian of Ileana Malancioiu, 2011) and The Boys of Bluehill (2015). The Mother House is forthcoming in October 2019.

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is a Fellow and Professor of English (Emerita) at Trinity College, Dublin and a member of Aosdána.  She is Ireland Professor of Poetry (2016-2019). She was married to Macdara Woods, who died in 2018.


The Mother House

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s meticulous, probing art is like no other. As she writes in ‘Resemblances’, ‘Like everything that I deal with now the room / has a double, a frill of light surrounding it.’

€11.95 pb
€18.50 hb


‘Curtain‘ from The Sun-fish (2009).

‘The Polio Epidemic’ from The Sun-fish (2009).

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