Eithne Strong Biography

Eithne Strong (née O'Connell, 1923–1999) was a bilingual Irish poet and writer who wrote in both Irish and English. She was a founder of Runa Press.
Strong was born in Glensharrold, Co. Limerick to school teachers, John and Kathleen(Lennon) O'Connell. She went to the Irish speaking school Scoil Muiris in Ennis. Strong moved to Dublin but was not able to afford college at the time. She worked in the Civil Service for a year.

She met her husband while in Dublin. Psychoanalyst Rupert Strong was twelve years her senior and though against the wishes of her family she stayed there and married him on November 12, 1943. She founded Runa Press, a small poetry press and worked there. They had nine children the last of whom required full time care due to a mental handicap.
She went to college in Trinity College, Dublin in her forties where she got a B.A in 1973. She was encouraged and admired in her poetry by Brendan Kennelly, Padraic Colum, Hilton Edwards and Kevin Casey. She taught creative writing and did lecture tours in the USA.

In 1991 she won the Kilkenny Design Award for Flesh – The Greatest Sin. She was a member of Aosdána. She died in Monkstown, Dublin in 1999.

The Dún Laoghaire Annual Arts Festival awards the Rupert & Eithne Strong Poetry Prize. On International Women's Day 2000, an event was held to commemorate the life and work of Eithne Strong at the Irish Writer's Centre, Parnell Square, Dublin.