Back in April of last year, at the unveiling of an Aubusson tapestry based on Seamus Heaney’s poems ‘Lightenings viii’ (which Iggy McGovern wrote about in our last post), we announced the donation of Seamus Heaney’s poetry books to Poetry Ireland.
At that event, Catherine Heaney described how her father would sit in his study, surrounded by his poetry books. These were, she said, “the volumes, from the classics to his contemporaries, that he would read, consult and work with in his day-to-day writing life. This working library was invaluable to him – it formed him and informed him – and we, his family, wanted to find a long-term home for it. When my mother came up with the idea of donating it to Poetry Ireland, we all knew instantly that it was the right decision.”
Fast forward nine months, and the donation of the library now stands at the heart of plans to create a new centre, at Poetry Ireland’s Parnell Square home, as part of a larger regeneration of the whole area, along with nearby neighbours The Hugh Lane Gallery and The Gate Theatre. It’s a tremendously exciting project – outlined in this short film featuring, among others, Joe Biden, Paula Meehan, Paul Muldoon and Marie Heaney – and one that we are honoured and delighted to be part of. More details will be announced in the coming months, but in the meantime, listening to architect Niall McCullough, we were reminded of a line of SH's which feels appropriate to the moment:
"The books stand open and the gates unbarred."
To celebrate publication of 100 Poems by Seamus Heaney, The Print Room theatre at The Coronet, in London's Notting Hill Gate, will host a very special reading on Tuesday 10 July, at 7pm.
With just weeks before the National Library of Ireland's Listen Now Again exhibition opens in Dublin, Michael Heaney explains why one artefact in particular means so much to him…
This month marks fifty years since a tour undertaken in May 1968 by the poets Michael Longley and Seamus Heaney and the folk singer David Hammond, as they travelled around towns in Northern Ireland presenting evenings of poetry and song.
Today is Poetry Day in Ireland and to celebrate, we have delved into the archives to find this recording of Seamus Heaney talking about his first tentative steps into a writing life.
Exactly thirty years ago, in April 1988, Seamus Heaney delivered the inaugural Richard Ellmann Lectures at Emory University in Atlanta. Here, Professor Ronald Schuchard – Heaney's close friend and the founder of the lecture series – remembers a joyous occasion and an ongoing legacy.
On June 28th, Faber and Faber will publish 100 Poems, a new selection of Seamus Heaney’s most celebrated works.
Composer and musician Neil Martin – a long-time friend of Seamus Heaney – has taken the poet’s translation of Sweeney Astray and set it to music for a special St Patrick’s Day concert in Dublin. Here he writes about the challenges and joys of finding the music in the centuries-old story of the mad bird king…
Back in April of last year, at the unveiling of an Aubusson tapestry based on Seamus Heaney’s poems ‘Lightenings viii’, we announced the donation of Seamus Heaney’s poetry books to Poetry Ireland.
Professor Iggy McGovern – physicist and poet – sheds light on a phenomenon that finds echoes in one of Seamus Heaney’s best-loved poems...
This time of year always reminds me of my father’s annual ritual of sending out Christmas cards. Every December, he approached the task with the rigour and planning of a small military operation. First, and most importantly, was the drawing up of the list...