Expressing the Source: Eavan Boland and Adrienne Rich


  • Máighréad Medbh



Eavan Boland, Adrienne Rich, Source


In this autobriographical essay, poet Máighréad Medbh writes about the connections between Adrienne Rich and Eavan Boland.


Originally Published in PN Review 220, November - December 2014.

Author Biography

Máighréad Medbh

Máighréad Medbh has published eight books of poetry and one of nonfiction, and her work has been included in many major Irish and international anthologies. Her latest book is Imbolg (Arlen House, 2020), a double collection that includes a poetic Lockdown Diary of fifty pieces. Máighréad has been widely known as a performance poet since the 1990s, and one of her concerns is textual embodiment. Other interests are narrative and thematic sequences and, currently, poetic essay. Her prose work, Savage Solitude (2013), researches and performs a solitary mind. Narrative verse includes: Tenant (1999), a historical fiction of the Irish famine; and Parvit of Agelast (2016), a verse allegory of social control and ecological collapse, informed by the art of Pauline Bewick, and shortlisted for the Pigott Prize in 2017. Other work includes writing for children, fiction (online as ebooks), a multitude of workshops, curation of events, and an online essay-blog monthly from 2012 -2020. Máighréad has an MA in Poetry Studies from DCU and is currently working on a creative-critical PhD.


Boland, Eavan. “Monotony,” in Night Feed. Dublin, Arlen House, 1984.

Boland, Eavan “Indoors,” in Domestic Violence. Manchester, Carcanet, 2007.

Boland, Eavan “The Lost Land,” in The Lost Land. Manchester, Carcanet, 1998.

Medbh, Máighréad. ‘Unified Field,’ in When the Air Inhales You. Dublin, Arlen House, 2009.

Medbh, Máighréad “Womb,” in Pagan to the Core. Dublin, Arlen House, 2013. (First published in The Making of a Pagan. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1990.)

Medbh, Máighréad “Coming Out,” in Pagan to the Core. Dublin, Arlen House, 2013. (First published in The Making of a Pagan, 1990.)

Rilke, Rainer Maria. Letters to a Young Poet. Translated by M. D. Herter Norton. New York, W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., 2004. Letter IV, 28/9.

Rich, Adrienne. “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision.” College English, Vol. 34, No. 1, Women, Writing and Teaching (Oct. 1972). National Council of Teachers of English, 18-30.

Rich, Adrienne “An Atlas of the Difficult World,” in An Atlas of the Difficult World. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1991.

Graham, Jorie, “Guantánamo,” in Sea Change. Manchester: Carcanet, 2008.




How to Cite

Medbh, M. (2021). Expressing the Source: Eavan Boland and Adrienne Rich. ABEI Journal, 23(2), 177-182.