Born 1942 in Cork, she taught English Renaissance literature at Trinity College, Dublin from 1966 to 2011. She was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2016-19. She has published eleven collections of poetry; the latest, The Mother House, received the Irish Times/ Poetry Now award in 2019. Her Collected Poems appeared in 2020 from Gallery Press and was awarded the Pigott Prize at the Listowel Writers’ Week in 2021. She has published translations of poetry from several languages, most recently Danta Antonella Anedda, translated from Italian into Irish, published by Cois Life in 2019.
Lucina Schynning in Silence of the Nicht (poems translated into Chinese) was published by Sichuan Ethnic Publishing Company, Chengdu, in 2020, when she was awarded the 1573 International Poetry Prize at the International Festival of Poetry and Liquor in Luzhou, Sichuan Province. She was one of four founding editors, with her late husband Macdara Woods, Pearse Hutchinson and Leland Bardwell, of the literary magazine Cyphers, and remains its principal editor.
More recently, she has been elected as Saoi by members of Aosdána, Eiléan now becomes the 21st Saoi in the history of Aosdána. The honour of Saoi is bestowed for singular and sustained distinction in the arts.