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), The Boys of Bluehill (2015) and The Mother House (2019) winner of the 2020 Irish Times Poetry Now Award.
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is a Fellow and Professor of English (Emerita) at Trinity College, Dublin and a member of Aosdána. She served as Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2016-2019. She was married to Macdara Woods, who died in 2018.