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."
As Seamus Heaney HomePlace celebrates its second anniversary this weekend, we asked the team behind HomePlace to share their thoughts on the journey so far…
In 1992, Seamus Heaney and the American photographer Rachel Giese-Brown collaborated on Sweeney’s Flight, a book of Giese-Brown’s haunting photographs of the Ulster landscape paired with extracts from Heaney’s Sweeney Astray. Here, Rachel explains how the artistic partnership came about and recalls the day the book finally took shape.
This month marks the tenth anniversary of the death of David Hammond, the renowned Belfast film-maker and singer, and close friend of Seamus Heaney. We asked JOHN KELLY, writer and broadcaster – and friend to both men – to share his memories of this 'natural force masquerading as a human being'
What a week! Read and listen to some of the press coverage of the launch of ‘Listen Now Again’ in Dublin, and the publication of 100 Poems.
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.