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Inscribed transforms Eavan Boland’s poetry and prose into a dramatic audio experience

Inscribed transforms Eavan Boland’s poetry and prose into a dramatic audio experience

A new audio presentation of Eavan Boland’s poetry and prose has been launched by composer and producer, Colm Ó Foghlú.

The piece was completed during his period as Artist in Residence in the School of Arts Education & Movement, DCU Institute of Education with support from The Arts Council (An Comhairle Ealaíon).

Colm initially collaborated with Eavan on Inscribed ten years ago and recently completed this reimagined audio version. A public release had been in the works prior to Eavan’s death on 27 April, and it is now released with a great deal of poignancy after her passing.

Through words and music, Inscribed explores the ways in which we find ourselves in different environments and roles throughout the course of our lives: from daughter to exile to urbanite, from rural to suburb to mother.

By surrounding the poems with the autobiographical details that inspired them,  Eavan’s words resonate - the silences become a fundamental testimony, the absences become an essential memorial. 

Actress Geraldine Plunkett, who is well known as a theatre actress and for her work on Glenroe and Fair City, provides the lead voice performance for Eavan’s work.

Joining Geraldine are Ken Edge (saxophone), Noleen O’Donoghue (harp), Avril Carey (voice) and The Dublin String Quartet. 

“In these uncertain times, I hope it might offer some solace as it reveals the mundane trials of everyday life and the heroic secrets of surviving it,” said Colm.

“When I started reading the prose memoir Object Lessons, I started to imagine BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? and to see the possibilities of Eavan’s poetry/prose transforming into a theatre/music piece.  

“The journey began. An austere and beautiful tapestry of voices, melodies and images started to haunt me and refused to let go. 

From those first moments, I knew that actress Geraldine Plunkett and musicians Ken Edge and Noreen O’Donoghue would be invaluable collaborators.”

In the early days of October, in the year 1909, a woman entered a Dublin Hospital, near the centre of the city.  

On October 10th, she died in the National Maternity Hospital.  She was thirty-one years of age.  She was my grandmother. - Eavan Boland 

Inscribed is available to stream or download from the Poetry Ireland Soundcloud page - click here

About Eavan Boland  

Widely considered to be one of Ireland’s most important contemporary poets, Eavan Boland was also a highly regarded Professor of English in the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences since 1996.

Her collections include The War Horse (1975), Night Feed (1982), Outside History (1990), A Time of Violence (1994, shortlisted for the T.S Eliot Prize) The Lost Land (1998), Code (2001), Against Love Poetry (2001, New York Times Notable Book of the Year), Domestic Violence (2007) and A Woman Without A Country (2014). In 2015, a New Collected Poems was published, and Eavan Boland: Inside History, a book celebrating her long and distinguished career, was published by Arlen House.

Mary Robinson quoted Eavan Boland’s poetry during her inaugural speech as President of Ireland in Dublin Castle on 3 December 1990, and in 2016, President Obama quoted lines from her poem ‘On a Thirtieth Anniversary’ (from Against Love Poetry) in his remarks at a reception in the White House to celebrate St Patrick's Day. In 2016, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was Editor of Poetry Ireland Review from 2017 to 2019.

About Colm Ó Foghlú.

From 2008-2012, Colm was Artistic Director, and Writer/Composer-in-Residence for An Béal Binn Teo., a community-based Arts organisation funded by Foras na Gaeilge. 

During this period, he devised/composed/produced over 80 performances/events as Gaeilge that featured more than 1,000 students and 600 adults.

These included commissions from Foras na Gaeilge and RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta.   Other projects include: producing and creating images/sound design for Lorcán Mac Mathúna’s 1916: The Visionaries & Their Words, which was selected by the Arts Council as their inaugural event for the their 1916 Commemorations Programme; Eoghainín na nÉan and Íosagan, operas for children based on stories by P.H. Pearse, at the Axis, Dublin; and the original arrangements and orchestrations for the recent production of Angela's Ashes: The Musical (Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Belfast & London). Colm is also a graduate of UCD, holding an M.A. in Drama and Performance Studies and recently graduated from DCU, St. Patrick’s College, with a Professional Masters in Education.


12th May, 2020
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