Stuart Wright Collection: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Papers

Manuscript Collection #1169-096
Ní Chuilleanáin, Eiléan, 1942-
Physical description
0.25 Cubic Feet, 1 archival box, 1 item, 22 p.
Preferred Citation
Stuart Wright Collection: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Papers (#1169-096), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (1977) documenting the life and literary career of the Cork City-born Irish poet and Trinity College, Dublin educator; consisting of the corrected printer's first proof of her poem entitled The Second Voyage: Poems (1977). Note: Her name is pronounced Eileen Nee Ch-will annoy-n (where the Ch is pronounced like the ch in loch; transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, 12/1/2014.

Biographical/historical information

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin was born in Cork, Ireland, on 28 November 1942. She is the daughter of Eilís Dillon (1920-1994), an author of children's books, and Professor Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin (1903-1970), a professor of Irish at University College, Cork. who was a veteran of the Irish War of Independence. She attended University College, Cork (B. A. & M. A.) and Oxford University. Her literary interests focus on Renaissance literature and translation and are reflected in her poetry. She is the founder (1975) and editor of the literary magazine Cyphers. She has translated poets from Irish, Italian and Romanian.

She published her first collection of poetry Acts and Monuments (1972). Her third collection, The Second Voyage (1977), was published by The Gallery Press, Dublin; it was republished by Wake Forest University Press (1991).

Chuilleanáin was a fellow of Trinity College Dublin from 1966 until her retirement from the faculty of the School of English in 2011. During her career, she received a number of significant honors and awards, including the Patrick Kavanaugh Poetry Award (1973) which she received for the publication of Acts and Monuments. Her collection, The Sun-fish won the International Griffin Poetry Prize (2010). In 2016, Irish President Michael D Higgins announced Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin would become the 7th Ireland Professor of Poetry for the next three-year term ending in 2019.

Chuilleanáin is a long-time resident of Dublin, where she lives with her husband, the poet Macdara Woods. They have a son, Niall.


"Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin". [Biographical Sketch] (2015) Wikipedia.éan Ní Chuilleanáin

"Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin b. 1942". [Biographical Sketch] (2017) Poetry Foundation.

"Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is new Ireland Professor of Poetry", by Martin Doyle, Irish Times (27 May 2016)

"Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (Ireland, 1942)". [Biographical Sketch] Poetry International Rotterdam.

"Eilís Dillon, Irish Writer". [Biographical Sketch] Eilís Dillon, Life & Works Webpage.

Author: Jonathan Dembo, 3/2/2017, 3/24/2017.

Stuart Wright collected and compiled the Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Papers. He was born, Stuart Thurman Wright, on 30 March 1948, in Roxboro, North Carolina. He was the son of Frances Critcher Wright (1919-2010) and Wallace Lyndon Wright (1921-1965). An avid reader as a boy, Wright developed a strong interest in the American Civil War and with his father toured many of the war's battlefields searching for artifacts and studying the history of the era. At the age of 12, he won a statewide "Johnny Reb" essay contest and by the age of 15 had visited every major battlefield of the Civil War. Wright attended Roxboro High School, from which he graduated in 1966. It was during these years that he developed an interest in collecting historical books and manuscripts and began relationships with a number of local collectors and dealers.

In the fall of 1966, Wright enrolled at Wake Forest University as a pre-med, history, German and music student. Wright earned a B.A. in German and music in 1970. As a graduate student at Wake Forest University, Wright focused his studies on Southern history and literature, his ambition being to build an authoritative Southern Studies collection for the university. He received a master's degree in Southern Studies in 1973 and a second master's degree in U.S. History in 1980. Additionally Wright holds a professional degree from England in a medically related field. It was while studying there that he became interested in Thomas Wolfe, the noted North Carolina native and novelist.

Following his graduation from Wake Forest, Wright began to develop his collections more systematically, acquiring many first editions of Southern writers. In 1976 he began teaching at Reynolda House, a Wake Forest University affiliate dedicated to the arts and arts education. Wright taught classes in American music as well as human anatomy for art students. In 1978 Wright became Lecturer in Education at Wake Forest University. During his 10 years teaching at Wake Forest University, Wright authored numerous works of Civil War and North Carolina history, and dozens of articles, bibliographies, essays and reviews on Southern literature and the writers whose papers he collected. In addition, he developed a strong interest in the writings of the English poet Donald Davie and the Minnesota-born poet Richard Eberhart, whose works he also collected.

At the same time, Wright also began a career as a publisher by starting Palaemon Press in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. By 1984, Palaemon Press had produced 316 titles, consisting mainly of broadsides and limited editions, of the poetry and essays of such Southern writers as A. R. Ammons, Fred Chappell, James Dickey, William Goyen, George Garrett, and Eudora Welty. He also built comprehensive collections and compiled book-length descriptive bibliographies of A.R. Ammons, Andrew Lytle, Reynolds Price, James Dickey, William Goyen, Walker Percy, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, George Garrett, Richard Eberhart, and Donald Davie. As well as serving as editor of the contemporary literature section of the Bulletin of Bibliography throughout the 1980s, Wright also contributed pioneering checklists of the writings of Southern poets Henry Taylor, Charles Wright, and Robert Morgan. For Meckler Publishing he served as series editor for a number of book-length bibliographies and checklists. In recognition of these accomplishments, when he was just 32, Wright was elected to membership in New York's prestigious Grolier Club.

All of these works are represented in the Stuart Wright Collection. In his dealings with these various authors Wright made consistent efforts to acquire personal papers, letters and documents, photographs, manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and published materials to supplement his continuing activities as a purchaser of their works. In this way, Wright acquired perhaps a majority of his overall collection. Over the years a number of biographers used Wright's collection to aid their research. For example, James A. Grimshaw, Jr. used the collection extensively for his Robert Penn Warren: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1922-1979 published by the University Press of Virginia, in 1981 and Craig S. Abbott did so as well for John Crowe Ransom: A Descriptive Bibliography, published by Whitston Publishing Company, Inc. in 1999. Joseph Blotner also used the Wright collection in researching Robert Penn Warren: A Biography, published by Random House in 1997.

Nevertheless, from the mid- to late 1980s, Wright began to look for a permanent home for his collection, which he felt had grown too large and yet had been too little used. Unable to find a repository willing to accept the entire collection under suitable conditions, he sold a number of individual author collections to Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Emory University. It was not until 2010 that he reached agreement to house the remaining, and largest part of his collection at East Carolina University. The Stuart Wright Collection in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection of J.Y. Joyner Library includes 106 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers, illustrators, composers, and publishers. The related Stuart Wright Book Collection holds several thousand volumes by or about many of the same writers. Many of these volumes contain annotations, inscriptions, and insertions that reveal much about the authors in the collection and their relationships with one another. In 1998 Wright moved to England, and since 2001 he has resided in the medieval market town of Ludlow, in Shropshire.

Author: Jonathan Dembo, 11/2/2016

Scope and arrangement

Stuart Wright Collection: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Papers (#1169-096) are arranged in original order in a single series.

Series 1: Ludlow Addition #2 to the Stuart Wright Collection consist of the corrected printer's first proof her poem entitled The Second Voyage: Poems (1977). Note: Name pronounced "Eileen Nee Ch-will annoy-n" (where the "Ch" is pronounced like the ch in "loch"; transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, 1 Dec. 2014. Source: Ludlow Addition #171.042. Series 1 is held in Box 1.a.

Administrative information
Custodial History

20 July 2012, (Ludlow Addition #2), 0.25 cubic feet; 1 archival box; 1 item; 22 p. Papers (1977) documenting the life and literary career of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (1942-), the Cork City-born Irish poet and Trinity College, Dublin educator, consisting of the corrected printers first proof her poem entitled The Second Voyage: Poems (1977). Note: Name pronounced "Eileen Nee Ch-will annoy-n" (where the "Ch" is pronounced like the ch in "loch"; transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, 1 Dec. 2014. Source: Ludlow Addition Box #171.042. Vendor: Stuart Wright

Source of acquisition

Purchased from Stuart Wright, 7/20/2012

Processing information

Processing, Preliminary inventory & Container List, by Jonathan Dembo with the assistance of Jay Colin Menees, 2/25/2016, 3/31/2016, 9/2/2016; Final inventory by Jonathan Dembo, 9/2/2016, 3/2/2017; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, 9/30/2016; Biographical Sketch, by Jonathan Dembo, 1/22/2015, 3/2/2017; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, 3/2/2017, 3/24/2017.

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Language of material


Container list
Box 1 Folder a The Second Voyage : Poems [Poems] by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáín (Winston-Salem, NC : Wake Forest University Press, 1977) Corrected Printers First Proof. 1 item. 22 p. ; Note : Name pronounced "Eileen Nee Ch-will annoy-n" (where the "Ch" is pronounced like the ch in "loch" ; Irish poet (born 28 Nov. 1942) ; transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, 1 Dec. 2014 ; Brittle, fragile, water damage ; needs conservation ; Source : Ludlow Addition #171.042