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."
Today marks the US publication by Farrar Straus and Giroux of 100 Poems, a selection of one hundred of Seamus Heaney’s best-loved poems – spanning his career, from first collection to last – as chosen by the poet’s family.
To celebrate the first hugely successful year of Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre at College Green, in Dublin, a series of free lunchtime concerts is taking place at 1pm every Thursday from now until the end of September.
In a new history of the firm founded by his grandfather, Toby Faber delves into the Faber archives to tell the inside story of this great publishing house. Here, the legendary poetry editor Charles Monteith writes to a young Seamus Heaney, while a few years later, Heaney himself directs Monteith towards an aspiring poet by the name of Muldoon…
Seamus Heaney was born on 13 April 1939 – tomorrow would have been his 80th birthday.
For the past six months, filming has been taking place - from Bellaghy to Boston to Dublin - for a new feature-length documentary about the life and work of Seamus Heaney, provisionally titled Seamus Heaney: The Music of What Happens.
One of the last projects Seamus Heaney ever collaborated on was adapting his translations of a series of 15th-century animal fables into a series of short animated films.
Forty years after its first publication in 1979, Seamus Heaney’s fifth collection, Field Work, is considered afresh by his friend and fellow poet Bernard O’Donoghue
Throughout 2019, the year that would have marked Seamus Heaney’s 80th birthday, poet and translator Marco Sonzogni will celebrate Heaney’s work with a series of pieces based on the sounds in his poetry. Here, he starts at the beginning, with ‘Death of a Naturalist’, the title poem of the first collection, and a memory of his own.
As the Collected Poems CD box set produced by RTE in association with The Lannan Foundation is about to be re-published, Lorelei Harris, then at RTE Radio 1 and the executive producer of the box set, looks back at how it came to be.