Seamus Justin Heaney MRIA (/ˈʃeɪməs ˈhiːni/; 13 April
1939 – 30 August 2013) was an Irish poet, playwright and
translator. He received the 1995
Nobel Prize in Literature.
Heaney was born in the townland of Tamniaran between
Toomebridge, Northern Ireland. His family moved to nearby Bellaghy
when he was a boy. He became a lecturer at St. Joseph's College in
Belfast in the early 1960s, after attending Queen's University and
began to publish poetry. He lived in Sandymount,
Dublin from 1976
until his death. He also lived part-time in the United States
from 1981 to 2006. Heaney was recognised as one of the principal
contributors to poetry during his lifetime.
Heaney was a professor at Harvard from 1981 to 1997, and its Poet in
Residence from 1988 to 2006. From 1989 to 1994, he was also the
Professor of Poetry
Professor of Poetry at Oxford. In 1996, was made a
l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Other awards that he received include
Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1968), the E. M. Forster Award
PEN Translation Prize (1985), the Golden Wreath of Poetry
T. S. Eliot Prize
T. S. Eliot Prize (2006) and two Whitbread Prizes (1996
and 1999). In 2011, he was awarded the
Griffin Poetry Prize
Griffin Poetry Prize and
in 2012, a Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust. His
literary papers are held by the National Library of Ireland.
Robert Lowell described him as "the most important Irish
poet since Yeats", and many others, including the academic John
Sutherland, have said that he was "the greatest poet of our
Robert Pinsky has stated that "with his wonderful gift of
eye and ear Heaney has the gift of the story-teller." Upon his
death in 2013,
The Independent described him as "probably the
best-known poet in the world." One of his best known works is Death
of a Naturalist, published in 1966.
His body is buried at the Cemetery of St. Mary's Church, Bellaghy,
Northern Ireland. The headstone bears the epitaph "Walk on air against
your better judgement", from one of his poems, "The Gravel Walks".
1 Early life
3.4 Plays and prose
3.5 Use in school syllabuses
5.1 Poetry: main collections
5.2 Poetry: selected editions
5.3 Prose: main collections
5.4 Prose: selected editions
5.7 Limited editions and booklets (poetry and prose)
6 Critical studies of Heaney
7 Selected discography
8 Major prizes and honours
9 See also
11 External links
From Mid-Term Break
Wearing a poppy bruise on the left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in a cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.
A four foot box, a foot for every year.
from "Mid-term break",
Death of a Naturalist
Death of a Naturalist (1966)
Heaney was born on 13 April 1939, at the family farmhouse called
Castledawson and Toomebridge; he was the first of
nine children. In 1953, his family moved to Bellaghy, a few miles
away, which is now the family home. His father, Patrick Heaney (d.
October 1986), was the eighth child of ten born to James and Sarah
Heaney. Patrick was a farmer, but his real commitment was to
cattle dealing, to which he was introduced by the uncles who had cared
for him after the early death of his own parents.
Heaney's mother, Margaret Kathleen McCann (1911–1984), who bore
nine children, came from the McCann family. Her uncles and
relations were employed in the local linen mill, and her aunt had
worked as a maid for the mill owner's family. Heaney commented that
his parentage contained both the Ireland of the cattle-herding Gaelic
past and the Ulster of the Industrial Revolution; he considered this
to have been a significant tension in his background. Heaney initially
attended Anahorish Primary School; when he was twelve years old, he
won a scholarship to St. Columb's College, a Roman Catholic boarding
school situated in Derry. Heaney's infant brother, Christopher, was
killed in a road accident while Heaney was studying at St. Columb's.
The poems "Mid-Term Break" and "The Blackbird of Glanmore" are related
to his brother's death.
Further information on his works during this period: Death of a
Naturalist and Door into the Dark
Seamus Heaney in 1970
My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.
The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.
Death of a Naturalist
Death of a Naturalist (1966)
In 1957, Heaney travelled to
Belfast to study English Language and
Literature at Queen's University Belfast. During his time in Belfast,
he found a copy of Ted Hughes's Lupercal, which spurred him to write
poetry. "Suddenly, the matter of contemporary poetry was the material
of my own life," he said. He graduated in 1961 with a First Class
During teacher training at St Joseph's Teacher Training College in
Belfast (now merged with St Mary's, University College), Heaney went
on a placement to St Thomas' secondary Intermediate School in west
Belfast. The headmaster of this school was the writer Michael
McLaverty from County Monaghan, who introduced Heaney to the poetry of
Patrick Kavanagh. With McLaverty's mentorship, Heaney first
started to publish poetry in 1962. Hillan describes how McLaverty was
like a foster father to the younger
Belfast poet. In the
introduction to McLaverty's Collected Works, Heaney summarised the
poet's contribution and influence: "His voice was modestly pitched, he
never sought the limelight, yet for all that, his place in our
literature is secure." Heaney's poem Fosterage, in the sequence
Singing School from North (1975), is dedicated to him.
In 1963, Heaney became a lecturer at St Joseph's, and in the spring of
1963, after contributing various articles to local magazines, he came
to the attention of Philip Hobsbaum, then an English lecturer at
Queen's University. Hobsbaum set up a
Belfast Group of local young
poets (to mirror the success he had with the London group), and Heaney
was able to meet other
Belfast poets such as
Derek Mahon and Michael
Longley. In August 1965, he married Marie Devlin, a school teacher and
native of Ardboe, County Tyrone. (Also a writer, Devlin published Over
Nine Waves (1994), a collection of traditional Irish myths and
legends.) Heaney's first book, Eleven Poems, was published in November
1965 for the Queen's University Festival.
Faber and Faber published his first major volume, called
Death of a Naturalist. This collection was met with much critical
acclaim and won several awards, including the Gregory Award for Young
Writers and the Geoffrey Faber Prize. Also in 1966, Heaney was
appointed as a lecturer in Modern English Literature at Queen's
University Belfast. That year his first son, Michael, was born. A
second son, Christopher, was born in 1968. That same year, with
Michael Longley, Heaney took part in a reading tour called Room to
Rhyme, which increased awareness of the poet's work. In 1969, his
second major volume, Door into the Dark, was published.
Further information on his works during this period: Wintering Out,
North (poetry collection), Field Work (poetry collection), and
Selected Poems 1965-1975
After a spell as guest lecturer at the University of California,
Berkeley, Heaney returned in 1971 to Queen's University. In 1972,
Heaney left his lectureship at Belfast, moved to
Wicklow in the
Republic of Ireland, and began writing on a full-time basis. In the
same year, he published Wintering Out. Over the next few years, Heaney
began to give readings throughout Ireland, Great Britain and the
United States. In 1975, Heaney published his fourth volume, North. A
pamphlet of prose poems entitled Stations was published the same year.
He became Head of English at
Carysfort College in
Dublin in 1976, and
he moved with his family to
Sandymount in that city. His next volume,
Field Work, was published in 1979.
Selected Poems 1965-1975
Selected Poems 1965-1975 and
Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968–1978 were published in 1980.
When Aosdána, the national Irish Arts Council, was established in
1981, Heaney was among those elected into its first group. (He was
subsequently elected a Saoi, one of its five elders and its highest
honour, in 1997).
Also in 1981, Heaney traveled to the United States as a visiting
professor at Harvard University, where he was affiliated with Adams
House. He was awarded two honorary doctorates, from Queen's University
Fordham University in New York City (1982). At the Fordham
commencement ceremony on May 23, 1982, Heaney delivered his address as
a 46-stanza poem entitled "Verses for a Fordham Commencement."
Born and educated in Northern Ireland, Heaney stressed that he was
Irish and not British. Following the success of the Field Day
Theatre Company's production of Brian Friel's Translations, the
Brian Friel and
Stephen Rea decided to make the company a
permanent group. Heaney joined the company's expanded Board of
Directors in 1981. In autumn 1984, his mother, Margaret,
Further information on his works during this period: Station Island
(poetry), The Haw Lantern, The Cure at Troy, and The Spirit Level
Seamus Heaney at the Dominican Church, Kraków, Poland, 4
Heaney received a tenure position at Harvard, becoming Boylston
Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at
Harvard University (formerly
Visiting Professor), serving 1985–1997, and the Ralph Waldo Emerson
Poet in Residence at Harvard 1998–2006. In 1986, Heaney received
a Litt.D. from Bates College. His father, Patrick, died in October the
same year. The loss of both parents within two years affected
Heaney deeply, and he expressed his grief in poems. In 1988, a
collection of his critical essays, The Government of the Tongue, was
In 1985 Heaney wrote the poem "From the Republic of Conscience" at the
Amnesty International Ireland. He wanted to "celebrate
United Nations Day and the work of Amnesty." The poem inspired the
title of Amnesty International's highest honor, the Ambassador of
In 1988, Heaney donated his lecture notes to the Manuscripts,
Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) of
Emory University in
Atlanta, Georgia, after giving the notable
Ellmann Lecture in Modern
In 1989, Heaney was elected
Professor of Poetry
Professor of Poetry at the University of
Oxford, which he held for a five-year term to 1994. The chair does not
require residence in Oxford. Throughout this period, he was dividing
his time between Ireland and the United States. He also continued to
give public readings. So well attended and keenly anticipated were
these events that those who queued for tickets with such enthusiasm
were sometimes dubbed "Heaneyboppers", suggesting an almost
teenybopper fan base.
In 1990, The Cure at Troy, his play based on Sophocles's
Philoctetes, was published to much acclaim. The next year, he
published another volume of poetry, Seeing Things (1991). Heaney was
named an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society,
Trinity College, Dublin, and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the
Royal Society of Literature
Royal Society of Literature (1991).
In 1993, Heaney guest-edited
The Mays Anthology, a collection of new
writing from students at the
University of Oxford
University of Oxford and University of
Cambridge. That same year, he was awarded the
Dickinson College Arts
Award and returned to the Pennsylvania college to deliver the
commencement address and receive an honorary degree. He was scheduled
to return to Dickinson again to receive the Harold and Ethel L.
Stellfox Award—for a major literary figure—at the time of his
death in 2013. Irish poet
Paul Muldoon was named recipient of the
award that year, partly in recognition of the close connection between
the two poets.
Heaney was awarded the
Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 for what the
Nobel committee described as "works of lyrical beauty and ethical
depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past." He was
on holiday in Greece with his wife when the news broke. Neither
journalists nor his own children could reach him until he arrived at
Dublin Airport two days later, although an Irish television camera
traced him to Kalamata. Asked how he felt to have his name added to
the Irish Nobel pantheon of William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw
and Samuel Beckett, Heaney responded: "It's like being a little
foothill at the bottom of a mountain range. You hope you just live up
to it. It's extraordinary." He and his wife Marie were immediately
taken from the airport to
Áras an Uachtaráin
Áras an Uachtaráin for champagne with
President Mary Robinson.
Heaney's 1996 collection The Spirit Level won the Whitbread Book of
the Year Award; he repeated the success in 1999 with Beowulf: A New
Heaney was elected a
Member of the Royal Irish Academy
Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1996 and was
admitted in 1997. In the same year, Heaney was elected
Aosdána. In 1998, Heaney was elected Honorary Fellow of Trinity
Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, which was officially opened at
Belfast in 2004
In 2000, Heaney was awarded an honorary doctorate and delivered the
commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2002,
Heaney was awarded an honorary doctorate from
Rhodes University and
delivered a public lecture on "The Guttural Muse".
In 2003, the
Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry
Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry was opened at Queen's
University Belfast. It houses the Heaney Media Archive, a record of
Heaney's entire oeuvre, along with a full catalogue of his radio and
television presentations. That same year, Heaney decided to lodge
a substantial portion of his literary archive at
Emory University as a
memorial to the work of William M. Chace, the university's recently
retired president. The Emory papers represented the largest
repository of Heaney's work (1964–2003). He donated these to help
build their large existing archive of material from Irish writers
including Yeats, Paul Muldoon, Ciaran Carson,
Michael Longley and
other members of The
In 2003, when asked if there was any figure in popular culture who
aroused interest in poetry and lyrics, Heaney praised American rap
Eminem from Detroit, saying, "He has created a sense of what is
possible. He has sent a voltage around a generation. He has done this
not just through his subversive attitude but also his verbal
energy." Heaney wrote the poem "Beacons at Bealtaine" to mark
the 2004 EU Enlargement. He read the poem at a ceremony for the 25
leaders of the enlarged European Union, arranged by the Irish EU
In August 2006, Heaney suffered a stroke. Although he recovered and
joked, "Blessed are the pacemakers" when fitted with a heart
monitor, he cancelled all public engagements for several
months. He was in
County Donegal at the time of the 75th birthday
of Anne Friel, wife of playwright Brian Friel. He read the
works of Henning Mankell,
Donna Leon and Robert Harris while in
hospital. Among his visitors was former President Bill
District and Circle
District and Circle won the 2006
T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot Prize. In
2008, he became artist of honour in Østermarie, Denmark, and Seamus
Heaney Stræde (street) was named after him. In 2009, Heaney was
presented with an Honorary-Life Membership award from the University
Dublin (UCD) Law Society, in recognition of his remarkable
role as a literary figure.
Faber and Faber published Dennis O'Driscoll's book Stepping Stones:
Seamus Heaney in 2008; this has been described as the
nearest thing to an autobiography of Heaney. In 2009, Heaney was
David Cohen Prize for Literature. He spoke at the West
Belfast Festival 2010 in celebration of his mentor, the poet and
novelist Michael McLaverty, who had helped Heaney to first publish his
In 2010, Faber published Human Chain, Heaney's twelfth collection.
Human Chain was awarded the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection,
one of the major poetry prizes Heaney had never previously won,
despite having been twice shortlisted. The book, published 44
years after the poet's first, was inspired in part by Heaney's stroke
in 2006, which left him "babyish" and "on the brink". Poet and Forward
Ruth Padel described the work as "a collection of painful,
honest and delicately weighted poems ... a wonderful and humane
Colm Tóibín described Human Chain as "his
best single volume for many years, and one that contains some of the
best poems he has written... is a book of shades and memories, of
things whispered, of journeys into the underworld, of elegies and
translations, of echoes and silences." In October 2010, the
collection was shortlisted for the
T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot Prize.
Heaney was named one of "Britain's top 300 intellectuals" by The
Observer in 2011, though the newspaper later published a correction
acknowledging that "several individuals who would not claim to be
British" had been featured, of which Heaney was one. That same
year, he contributed translations of
Old Irish marginalia for Songs of
the Scribe, an album by Traditional Singer in Residence of the Seamus
Heaney Centre for Poetry, Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin.
In December 2011, he donated his personal literary notes to the
National Library of Ireland. Even though he admitted he would
likely have earned a fortune by auctioning them, Heaney personally
packed up the boxes of notes and drafts and, accompanied by his son
Michael, delivered them to the National Library.
In June 2012, Heaney accepted the Griffin Trust for Excellence in
Poetry's Lifetime Recognition Award and gave a speech in honour of the
Heaney was compiling a collection of his work in anticipation of
Selected Poems 1988-2013 at the time of his death. The selection
includes poems and writings from Seeing Things, The Spirit Level, the
translation of Beowulf, Electric Light, District and Circle, and Human
Chain (fall 2014).
In February 2014,
Emory University premiered Seamus Heaney: The Music
of What Happens, the first major exhibition to celebrate the life and
Seamus Heaney since his death.  The exhibit holds a
display of the surface of Heaney's personal writing desk that he used
in the 1980s as well as old photographs and personal correspondence
with other writers. Heaney died in August 2013, during the
exhibition's curatorial process. Though the exhibit's original vision
to celebrate Heaney's life and work remains at the forefront, there is
a small section commemorating his death and its influence.
In September 2015, it was announced that Heaney's family would
posthumously publish his translation of Book VI of
The Aeneid in
Seamus Heaney died in the
Blackrock Clinic in
Dublin on 30 August
2013, aged 74, following a short illness. After a fall
outside a restaurant in Dublin, he entered hospital for a medical
procedure, but died at 7:30 the following morning before it took
place. His funeral was held in Donnybrook, Dublin, on the morning of 2
September 2013, and he was buried in the evening at his home village
of Bellaghy, in the same graveyard as his parents, young brother, and
other family members. His son Michael revealed at the funeral
mass that his father texted his final words, "Noli timere" (Latin: "Do
not be afraid"), to his wife, Marie, minutes before he
The day after his death, a crowd of 81,553 spectators applauded Heaney
for three minutes at an All-Ireland Gaelic football semi-final match
on 1 September. His funeral was broadcast live the following day
on RTÉ television and radio and was streamed internationally at
RTÉ Radio 1 Extra
RTÉ Radio 1 Extra transmitted a continuous broadcast,
from 8 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. on the day of the funeral, of his
Collected Poems album, recorded by Heaney in 2009. His poetry
collections sold out rapidly in Irish bookshops immediately following
Many tributes were paid to Heaney. President
Michael D. Higgins
Michael D. Higgins said:
...we in Ireland will once again get a sense of the depth and range of
the contribution of
Seamus Heaney to our contemporary world, but what
those of us who have had the privilege of his friendship and presence
will miss is the extraordinary depth and warmth of his
Irish people will have been familiar with
Seamus' poems. Scholars all over the world will have gained from the
depth of the critical essays, and so many rights organisations will
want to thank him for all the solidarity he gave to the struggles
within the republic of conscience.
President Higgins also appeared live from
Áras an Uachtaráin
Áras an Uachtaráin on the
Nine O'Clock News in a five-minute segment in which he paid tribute to
Bill Clinton, former President of the United States, said:
Both his stunning work and his life were a gift to the world. His
mind, heart, and his uniquely Irish gift for language made him our
finest poet of the rhythms of ordinary lives and a powerful voice for
peace...His wonderful work, like that of his fellow Irish Nobel Prize
winners Shaw, Yeats, and Beckett, will be a lasting gift for all the
José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, said:
I am greatly saddened today to learn of the death of Seamus Heaney,
one of the great European poets of our lifetime. ... The strength,
beauty and character of his words will endure for generations to come
and were rightly recognised with the
Nobel Prize for Literature.
Harvard University issued a statement:
"We are fortunate and proud to have counted
Seamus Heaney as a revered
member of the Harvard family. For us, as for people around the world,
he epitomised the poet as a wellspring of humane insight and artful
imagination, subtle wisdom and shining grace. We will remember him
with deep affection and admiration."
Poet Michael Longley, a close friend of Heaney, said: "I feel like
I've lost a brother."
Thomas Kinsella said he was shocked, but
John Montague said he had known for some time that the poet was not
Frank McGuinness called Heaney "the greatest
Irishman of my generation: he had no rivals."
Colm Tóibín wrote:
"In a time of burnings and bombings Heaney used poetry to offer an
Gerald Dawe said he was "like an older brother
who encouraged you to do the best you could do."
Theo Dorgan said,
"[Heaney's] work will pass into permanence." Everywhere I go there is
real shock at this. Seamus was one of us." His publisher, Faber and
Faber, noted that "his impact on literary culture is
Tom Stoppard said, "Seamus never had a
sour moment, neither in person nor on paper". Andrew Motion, a
former UK Poet Laureate and friend of Heaney, called him "a great
poet, a wonderful writer about poetry, and a person of truly
exceptional grace and intelligence."
Many memorial events were held, including a commemoration at Emory
University, Harvard University, Oxford University and the
Southbank Centre, London. Leading US poetry organisations
also met in New York to commemorate the death.
From "Joy Or Night": In order that human beings bring about the most
radiant conditions for themselves to inhabit, it is essential that the
vision of reality which poetry offers should be transformative, more
than just a printout of the given circumstances of its time and place.
The poet who would be most the poet has to attempt an act of writing
that outstrips the conditions even as it observes them.
—from "Joy Or Night: Last Things in the Poetry of
W. B. Yeats
W. B. Yeats and
Philip Larkin", W. D. Thomas Memorial Lecture delivered by Seamus
Heaney at University College of Swansea on 18 January 1993.
According to the BBC, at one time, Heaney's books made up two-thirds
of the sales of living poets in the UK. His work often deals with
the local surroundings of Ireland, particularly in Northern Ireland,
where he was born and lived until young adulthood. Speaking of his
early life and education, he commented, "I learned that my local
Derry experience, which I had considered archaic and irrelevant
to 'the modern world', was to be trusted. They taught me that trust
and helped me to articulate it."
Death of a Naturalist
Death of a Naturalist (1966) and
Door into the Dark (1969) mostly focus on the details of rural,
In a number of volumes, beginning with
Door into the Dark (1969) and
Wintering Out (1972), Heaney also spent a significant amount of time
writing on the northern Irish bog. Particularly of note is the
collection of bog body poems in North (1975), featuring mangled bodies
preserved in the bog. In a review by Ciaran Carson, he said that the
bog poems made Heaney into "the laureate of violence—a mythmaker, an
anthropologist of ritual killing...the world of megalithic doorways
and charming noble barbarity." Poems such as "Bogland" and "Bog
Queen" addressed political struggles directly for the first time, as
well as maintaining a natural aesthetic.
Allusions to sectarian difference, widespread in Northern Ireland
through his lifetime, can be found in his poems. His books Wintering
Out (1973) and North (1975) seek to interweave commentary on the
Troubles with a historical context and wider human experience.
While some critics accused Heaney of being "an apologist and a
mythologiser" of the violence,
Blake Morrison suggests the poet
has written poems directly about the Troubles as well as elegies for
friends and acquaintances who have died in them; he has tried to
discover a historical framework in which to interpret the current
unrest; and he has taken on the mantle of public spokesman, someone
looked to for comment and guidance... Yet he has also shown signs of
deeply resenting this role, defending the right of poets to be private
and apolitical, and questioning the extent to which poetry, however
"committed", can influence the course of history.
Shaun O'Connell in the New Boston Review notes that "those who see
Seamus Heaney as a symbol of hope in a troubled land are not, of
course, wrong to do so, though they may be missing much of the
undercutting complexities of his poetry, the backwash of ironies which
make him as bleak as he is bright." O'Connell notes in his Boston
Review critique of Station Island:
Again and again Heaney pulls back from political purposes; despite its
emblems of savagery, Station Island lends no rhetorical comfort to
Republicanism. Politic about politics, Station Island is less about a
united Ireland than about a poet seeking religious and aesthetic
Heaney is described by critic
Terry Eagleton as "an enlightened
cosmopolitan liberal", refusing to be drawn. Eagleton suggests:
"When the political is introduced... it is only in the context of what
Heaney will or will not say." Reflections on what Heaney
identifies as "tribal conflict" favour the description of people's
lives and their voices, drawing out the "psychic landscape". His
collections often recall the assassinations of his family members and
close friends, lynchings and bombings.
Colm Tóibín wrote,
"throughout his career there have been poems of simple evocation and
description. His refusal to sum up or offer meaning is part of his
Heaney published "Requiem for the Croppies", a poem that commemorates
the Irish rebels of 1798, on the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Easter
Rising. He read the poem to both Catholic and Protestant audiences in
Ireland. He commented, "To read 'Requiem for the Croppies' wasn't to
say ‘up the IRA’ or anything. It was silence-breaking rather than
rabble-rousing." He stated, "You don't have to love it. You just
have to permit it."
He turned down the offer of laureateship of the United Kingdom, partly
for political reasons, commenting, "I’ve nothing against the Queen
personally: I had lunch at the Palace once upon a time." He stated
that his "cultural starting point" was "off-centre". A much-quoted
statement was when he objected to being included in The Penguin Book
of Contemporary British Poetry (1982). Although he was born in
Northern Ireland, his response to being included in the British
anthology was delivered in his poem "An Open Letter":
Don't be surprised if I demur, for, be advised
My passport's green.
No glass of ours was ever raised
To toast The Queen.
He was concerned, as a poet and a translator, with the English
language as it is spoken in Ireland but also as spoken elsewhere and
in other times; he explored Anglo-Saxon influences in his work and
W. S. Di Piero noted
Whatever the occasion, childhood, farm life, politics and culture in
Northern Ireland, other poets past and present, Heaney strikes time
and again at the taproot of language, examining its genetic
structures, trying to discover how it has served, in all its changes,
as a culture bearer, a world to contain imaginations, at once a
rhetorical weapon and nutriment of spirit. He writes of these matters
with rare discrimination and resourcefulness, and a winning impatience
with received wisdom.
Heaney's first translation was of the Irish lyric poem Buile Suibhne,
published as Sweeney Astray: A Version from the Irish (1984). He took
up this character and connection in poems published in Station Island
(1984). Heaney's prize-winning translation of
Beowulf (Farrar, Straus
& Giroux, 2000, Whitbread Book of the Year Award) was considered
groundbreaking in its use of modern language melded with the original
Plays and prose
His plays include The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles'
Philoctetes (1991). Heaney's 2004 play, The Burial at Thebes, suggests
Creon and the foreign policies of the Bush
Heaney's engagement with poetry as a necessary engine for cultural and
personal change is reflected in his prose works The Redress of Poetry
(1995) and Finders Keepers: Selected Prose, 1971–2001 (2002).
"When a poem rhymes," Heaney wrote, "when a form generates itself,
when a metre provokes consciousness into new postures, it is already
on the side of life. When a rhyme surprises and extends the fixed
relations between words, that in itself protests against necessity.
When language does more than enough, as it does in all achieved
poetry, it opts for the condition of overlife, and rebels at
He continues: "The vision of reality which poetry offers should be
transformative, more than just a printout of the given circumstances
of its time and place". Often overlooked and underestimated in the
direction of his work is his profound poetic debts to and critical
engagement with 20th-century Eastern European poets, and in particular
Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz.
Use in school syllabuses
Heaney's work is used extensively on school syllabuses
internationally, including the anthologies The Rattle Bag (1982) and
The School Bag (1997) (both edited with Ted Hughes). Originally
entitled The Faber Book of Verse for Younger People on the Faber
contract, Hughes and Heaney decided the main purpose of The Rattle Bag
was to offer enjoyment to the reader: "Arbitrary riches." Heaney
commented "the book in our heads was something closer to The Fancy
Free Poetry Supplement." It included work that they would have
liked to encountered sooner in their own lives, as well as nonsense
rhymes, ballad-type poems, riddles, folk songs and rhythmical jingles.
Much familiar canonical work was not included, since they took it for
granted that their audience would know the standard fare. Fifteen
years later, The School Bag aimed at something different. The foreword
stated that they wanted "less of a carnival, more like a checklist."
It included poems in English, Irish, Welsh, Scots and Scots Gaelic,
together with work reflecting the African-American experience. Two
of his poems entitled 'Storm on the Island' and 'Follower' feature on
the new GCSE English Literature course as part of the anthology poetry
Heaney influenced a wide range of poets, including Natasha Trethewey,
Kevin Young and Tracy K. Smith.
Heaney collaborated with American composer Mohammed Fairouz, who
composed Anything Can Happen (2012), a setting of the poetry of Heaney
and Biblical verses in Arabic, and on campus on 14 April
Heaney is a favorite of Joe Biden, the former Vice President of the
United States, who often quoted his poetry.
Poetry: main collections
1966: Death of a Naturalist, Faber & Faber
1969: Door into the Dark, Faber & Faber
1972: Wintering Out, Faber & Faber
1975: North, Faber & Faber
1979: Field Work, Faber & Faber
1984: Station Island, Faber & Faber
1987: The Haw Lantern, Faber & Faber
1991: Seeing Things, Faber & Faber
1996: The Spirit Level, Faber & Faber
2001: Electric Light, Faber & Faber
2006: District and Circle, Faber & Faber
2010: Human Chain, Faber & Faber
Poetry: selected editions
1980: Selected Poems 1965–1975, Faber & Faber
1990: New Selected Poems 1966–1987, Faber & Faber
1998: Opened Ground: Poems 1966–1996, Faber & Faber
2014: New Selected Poems 1988–2013, Faber & Faber
Prose: main collections
1980: Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968–1978, Faber & Faber
1988: The Government of the Tongue, Faber & Faber
1995: The Redress of Poetry: Oxford Lectures, Faber & Faber
Prose: selected editions
2002: Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971–2001, Faber & Faber
1990: The Cure at Troy: A version of Sophocles' Philoctetes, Field Day
2004: The Burial at Thebes: A version of Sophocles' Antigone, Faber
1983: Sweeney Astray: A version from the Irish, Field Day
Sweeney's Flight (with Rachel Giese, photographer), Faber &
1993: The Midnight Verdict:
Translations from the Irish of Brian
Merriman and from the
Metamorphoses of Ovid, Gallery Press
1995: Laments, a cycle of Polish Renaissance elegies by Jan
Kochanowski, translated with Stanisław Barańczak, Faber & Faber
1999: Beowulf, Faber & Faber
1999: Diary of One Who Vanished, a song cycle by
Leoš Janáček of
poems by Ozef Kalda, Faber & Faber
2002: Hallaig, Sorley MacLean Trust
2002: Arion, a poem by Alexander Pushkin, translated from the Russian,
with a note by Olga Carlisle, Arion Press
2004: The Testament of Cresseid, Enitharmon Press
2004: Columcille The Scribe, The Royal Irish Academy
The Testament of Cresseid
The Testament of Cresseid & Seven Fables, Faber & Faber
2013: The Last Walk, Gallery Press
2016: "Aeneid: Book VI", Faber & Faber
Limited editions and booklets (poetry and prose)
1965: Eleven Poems, Queen's University
1968: The Island People, BBC
1968: Room to Rhyme, Arts Council N.I.
1969: A Lough Neagh Sequence, Phoenix
1970: Night Drive, Gilbertson
1970: A Boy Driving His Father to Confession, Sceptre Press
1973: Explorations, BBC
1975: Stations, Ulsterman Publications
1975: Bog Poems, Rainbow Press
1975: The Fire i' the Flint, Oxford University Press
1976: Four Poems, Crannog Press
1977: Glanmore Sonnets, Editions Monika Beck
1977: In Their Element, Arts Council N.I.
1978: Robert Lowell: A Memorial Address and an Elegy, Faber &
1978: The Makings of a Music, University of Liverpool
1978: After Summer, Gallery Press
1979: Hedge School, Janus Press
1979: Ugolino, Carpenter Press
1979: Gravities, Charlotte Press
1979: A Family Album, Byron Press
1980: Toome, National College of Art and Design
1981: Sweeney Praises the Trees, Henry Pearson
1982: A Personal Selection, Ulster Museum
1982: Poems and a Memoir, Limited Editions Club
1983: An Open Letter, Field Day
1983: Among Schoolchildren, Queen's University
1984: Verses for a Fordham Commencement, Nadja Press
1984: Hailstones, Gallery Press
1985: From the Republic of Conscience, Amnesty International
1985: Place and Displacement, Dove Cottage
1985: Towards a Collaboration, Arts Council N.I.
1986: Clearances, Cornamona Press
1988: Readings in Contemporary Poetry, DIA Art Foundation
1988: The Sounds of Rain, Emory University
1988: The Dark Wood, Colin Smythe
1989: An Upstairs Outlook,
Linen Hall Library
1989: The Place of Writing, Emory University
1990: The Tree Clock,
Linen Hall Library
1991: Squarings, Hieroglyph Editions
1992: Dylan the Durable, Bennington College
1992: The Gravel Walks, Lenoir Rhyne College
1992: The Golden Bough, Bonnefant Press
1993: Keeping Going, Bow and Arrow Press
1993: Joy or Night, University of Swansea
1994: Extending the Alphabet, Memorial University of Newfoundland
1994: Speranza in Reading, University of Tasmania
Oscar Wilde Dedication, Westminster Abbey
1995: Charles Montgomery Monteith, All Souls College
1995: Crediting Poetry: The Nobel Lecture, Gallery Press
1996: Commencement Address, UNC Chapel Hill
1997: Poet to Blacksmith, Pim Witteveen
1997: An After Dinner Speech, Atlantic Foundation
1998: Audenesque, Maeght
1999: The Light of the Leaves, Bonnefant Press
1999: Ballynahinch Lake, Sonzogni
2001: Something to Write Home About, Flying Fox
2001: Towers, Trees, Terrors, Università degli Studi di Urbino
2002: The Whole Thing: on the Good of Poetry, The Recorder
2002: Hope and History, Rhodes University
2002: A Keen for the Coins, Lenoir Rhyne College
2003: Eclogues in Extremis, Royal Irish Academy
2003: Squarings, Arion Press
2004: Anything can Happen, Town House Publishers
2004: Room to Rhyme, University of Dundee
2005: A Tribute to Michael McLaverty,
Linen Hall Library
2005: The Door Stands Open, Irish Writers Centre
2005: A Shiver, Clutag Press
2007: The Riverbank Field, Gallery Press
2008: Articulations, Royal Irish Academy
2008: One on a Side, Robert Frost Foundation
2009: Spelling It Out, Gallery Press
2010: Writer & Righter, Irish Human Rights Commission
2012: Stone From Delphi, Arion Press
Critical studies of Heaney
1993: The Poetry of Seamus Heaney, ed. by Elmer Andrews,
1993: Seamus Heaney: The Making of the Poet by Michael Parker,
1995: The Achievement of
Seamus Heaney by John Wilson Foster, Lilliput
Press, Dublin, ISBN 1-874675-71-6
1995: Critical essays on Seamus Heaney, ed. by Robert F. Garratt,
1998: The Poetry of Seamus Heaney: A Critical Study by Neil Corcoran,
Seamus Heaney by Helen Vendler, ISBN 0-674-00205-9, Harvard
2000: The Poetry of Seamus Heaney, ed. by Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, Icon
Books Ltd., Cambridge CB2 4QF UK ISBN 1-84046-137-3
2002: The Bottomless Centre. The Uses of History in the Poetry of
Seamus Heaney, by Jerzy Jarniewicz ISBN 83-7171-603-6
Seamus Heaney and the Place of Writing by Eugene O'Brien,
University Press of Florida, ISBN 0-8130-2582-6
Seamus Heaney Searches for Answers by Eugene O'Brien, Pluto
Press, London, ISBN 0-7453-1734-0
2007 "Seamus Heaney: Poet, Critic, Translator" edited by Ashby Bland
Crowder and Jason David Hall, Palgrave Macmillan, Basinnstoke
Seamus Heaney and the Emblems of Hope by Karen Marguerite
Moloney, ISBN 978-0-8262-1744-8
2007: Seamus Heaney: Creating Irelands of the Mind by Eugene O'Brien,
Liffey Press, Dublin, ISBN 1-904148-02-6
2008 "Seamus Heaney's Rhythmic Contract" by Jason David Hall, Palgrave
Macmillan, Basinenstoke ISBN 978-0-230-57488-5
2009: The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney, edited by Bernard
O'Donoghue, ISBN 0-5215-4755-5
2010: Poetry and Peace: Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney, and Northern
Ireland by Richard Rankin Russell, ISBN 978-0-268-04031-4
2010: Defending Poetry: Art and Ethics in Joseph Brodsky, Seamus
Heaney, and Geoffrey Hill by David-Antoine Williams
2010: "Working Nation(s): Seamus Heaney's ‘Digging’ and the Work
Ethic in Post-Colonial and Minority Writing", by Ivan Cañadas
Seamus Heaney and Beowulf," by M.J. Toswell, in: Cahier Calin:
Makers of the Middle Ages. Essays in Honor of William Calin, ed. by
Richard Utz and Elizabeth Emery (Kalamazoo, MI: Studies in
Medievalism, 2011), pp. 18–22.
2012: In Gratitude for all the Gifts:
Seamus Heaney and Eastern
Europe, by Magdalena Kay, University of Toronto Press,
Seamus Heaney as Aesthetic Thinker: A Study of the Prose", by
Eugene O'Brien. New York; Syracuse University Press.
2016: "'The Soul Exceeds its Circumstances': The Later Poetry of
Seamus Heaney", edited by Eugene O'Brien. Indiana: University of Notre
Dame Press. ISBN 978-0-268-10020-9
Beowulf – Seamus Heaney
2003 The Poet & The Piper –
Seamus Heaney & Liam O'Flynn
2009 Collected Poems – Recording of Heaney reading all of his
Old Irish marginalia for
Songs of the Scribe
Songs of the Scribe by
Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, Traditional Singer in Residence at the
Seamus Heaney Centre for poetry at Queen's University Belfast.
Major prizes and honours
1966 Eric Gregory Award
1967 Cholmondeley Award
1968 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize
1975 E. M. Forster Award
1975 Duff Cooper Memorial Prize
Nobel Prize in Literature
Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Saoi of Aosdána
St. Louis Literary Award from the
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University Library
2001 Golden Wreath of Poetry, the main international award given by
Struga Poetry Evenings
Struga Poetry Evenings to a world-renowned living poet for life
achievement in the field of poetry
2004 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement
2005 Irish PEN Award
T. S. Eliot Prize
T. S. Eliot Prize for District and Circle
Poetry Now Award for District and Circle
2009 David Cohen Prize
Poetry Now Award for Human Chain
Griffin Poetry Prize
Griffin Poetry Prize finalist for Human Chain
2011 Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award
2012 Griffin Poetry Prize, Lifetime Recognition Award
List of Nobel laureates
List of Nobel laureates in Literature
List of people on stamps of Ireland
^ a b c Obituary: Heaney ‘the most important Irish poet since
Yeats’, Irish Times, 30 August 2013.
^ a b c d
Seamus Heaney obituary, The Guardian, 30 August 2013.
^ a b "Biography of Irish Writer Seamus Heaney". www.seamusheaney.org.
Archived from the original on 24 February 2010. Retrieved 20 February
2010. Heaney was born on 13th April 1939, the eldest of nine children
at the family farm called Mossbawn in the Townland of Tamniarn in
Newbridge near Castledawson, Northern Ireland, ... Archived at
^ Heaney, Seamus (1998). Opened Ground. New York: Farrar, Straus, and
Giroux. ISBN 0-374-52678-8.
^ a b c d "Faces of the week". BBC News. BBC. 19 January 2007.
Retrieved 9 April 2010.
^ a b Sutherland, John (19 March 2009). "
Seamus Heaney deserves a lot
more than £40,000". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 19
^ Pinsky, Robert. The Eco Press, Hopewell ISBN 088001217X
^ Craig, Patricia (30 August 2013). "
Seamus Heaney obituary: Nobel
Prize-winning Irish Poet". The Independent. Independent Print Limited.
Retrieved 30 August 2013.
^ a b c d Parker, Michael (1993). Seamus Heaney: The Making of the
Poet. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. p. 221.
ISBN 0-87745-398-5. The deaths of his mother in the autumn of
1984 and of his father in October 1986 left a colossal space, one
which he has struggled to fill through poetry.
^ "A Note on Seamus Heaney". inform.orbitaltec.ne. Retrieved 20 April
Seamus Heaney was born on 13 April 1939, the first child of
Patrick and Margaret Kathleen (née McCann) Heaney, who then lived on
a fifty-acre farm called Mossbawn, in the townland of Tamniarn, County
Derry, Northern Ireland.
^ "Biography". Nobelprize. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
^ Verdonk, Peter (2002). Stylistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
p. 57. ISBN 0-19-437240-5.
^ Parker, Michael (1993). Seamus Heaney: The Making of the Poet. Iowa
City: University of Iowa Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-87745-398-5.
Mrs Heaney bore nine children, Seamus, Sheena, Ann, Hugh, Patrick,
Charles, Colum, Christopher, and Dan.
^ a b c McCrum, Robert (19 July 2009). "A life of rhyme". Mail &
Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
^ "Heaney, Seamus: Mid-Term Break". Litmed.med.nyu.edu. 27 October
1999. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
^ "Biography". British Council. Archived from the original on 9
October 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
^ a b Ed. Bernard O’Donoghue The Cambridge Companion to Seamus
Heaney (2009) Cambridge University Press pxiii
ISBN 978-0-521-54755-0. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
^ Sophia Hillan, New Hibernia Review / Iris Éireannach Nua, Vol. 9,
No. 3 (Autumn, 2005), pp. 86–106 Wintered into Wisdom: Michael
McLaverty, Seamus Heaney, and the Northern Word-Hoard. University of
St. Thomas (Center for Irish Studies)
^ McLaverty, Michael (2002) Collected short stories Blackstaff Press
Ltd pxiii ISBN 0-85640-727-5
^ "Biography". Aosdána.
^ Blog, News (2013-08-30). "Fordham Notes: Seamus Heaney's "Verses for
a Fordham Commencement"". Fordham Notes. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
Nobel Prize Poet
Seamus Heaney Dies Aged 74 -VIDEO".
Ibtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
^ The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney, "Heaney in Public" by
Dennis O'Driscoll (p56-72). ISBN 0-5215-4755-5.
^ "Barclay Agency profile". Barclayagency.com. Archived from the
original on 8 May 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
^ British Council biography of Heaney[permanent dead link]. Retrieved
19 April 2010.
^ "Seamus Heaney, Poet". Frontline Defenders. Retrieved 30 November
^ "From the Republic of Conscience". Amnesty International. Retrieved
30 November 2014.
Seamus Heaney Exhibit", Emory University, January 2014
^ "Heaney 'catches the heart off guard'". Harvard News Office. Harvard
University. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2010. Over the years,
readings by poet
Seamus Heaney have been so wildly popular that his
fans are called "Heaneyboppers."
^ "Play Listing". Irish Playography. Irish Theatre Institute.
Retrieved 24 August 2007.
Royal Society of Literature
Royal Society of Literature All Fellows". Royal Society of
Literature. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 9
Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature 1995". Nobelprize. 7 October 2010.
Retrieved 7 October 2010.
^ a b Clarity, James F. (9 October 1995). "Laureate and Symbol, Heaney
Returns Home". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
Retrieved 9 October 1995. Check date values in: access-date=
^ "Beowulf: A New Translation". Rambles.net. Retrieved 20 November
Seamus Heaney MRIA 1939-2013 - A Very
Special Academician". ria.ie.
30 August 2013. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved
8 September 2013.
^ "Seamus Heaney". aosdána.artscouncil.ie. 30 August 2013. Retrieved
8 September 2013.
^ University of Pennsylvania. Honorary Degree awarded. Retrieved 19
^ "Rhodes Department of English Annual Report 2002-2003" (PDF).
Archived from the original on 14 April 2008. Retrieved
2007-10-18. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
Rhodes University website.
Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen's University Belfast
^ "Emory Acquires Nobel Laureate
Seamus Heaney Letters". press
release. Emory University. 24 September 2003. When I was here this
summer for commencement, I came to the decision that the conclusion of
President Chace's tenure was the moment of truth, and that I should
now lodge a substantial portion of my literary archive in the Woodruff
Library, including the correspondence from many of the poets already
represented in its special collections," said Heaney in making the
announcement. "So I am pleased to say these letters are now here and
that even though President Chace is departing, as long as my papers
stay here, they will be a memorial to the work he has done to extend
the university's resources and strengthen its purpose.
^ "Poet Heaney donates papers to Emory". The Augusta Chronicle. 25
September 2003. Retrieved 25 September 2003.
^ Emory University. Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Book Library
(MARBL) Archived 1 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Online
collection of The
Belfast Group archive.
^ Eminem, The Way I Am, autobiography, cover sheet. Published 21
Seamus Heaney praises Eminem". BBC News. BBC. 30 June 2003.
Retrieved 9 April 2010.
^ a b Heaney bid farewell at funeral
Belfast Telegraph, 2013-09-02.
^ Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, 16 January 2007.
^ "Poet 'cried for father' after stroke". BBC News. BBC. 20 July 2009.
Retrieved 20 July 2009.
^ Kelly, Antoinette (19 July 2009). "Nobel winner Seamus Heaney
recalls secret visit from Bill Clinton: President visit to Heaney's
hospital bed after near-fatal stroke". Irish Central. Retrieved 19
^ "Heaney wins TS Eliot poetry prize". BBC News. BBC. 15 January 2007.
Retrieved 15 January 2007.
^ "Announcement of Awards". University College Dublin.
^ "Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney". The Times. 14
November 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
^ "Féile an Phobail, Festival of the People, 2010 programme".
Official website. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010.
Retrieved 12 July 2010. Archived at Wayback Engine.
^ a b Page, Benedicte (6 October 2010). "
Seamus Heaney wins £10k
Forward poetry prize for Human Chain". The Guardian. Guardian Media
Group. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
^ Kellaway, Kate (22 August 2010). "Human Chain by Seamus Heaney". The
Observer. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
^ a b c d Tóibín, Colm (21 August 2010). "Human Chain by Seamus
Heaney – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
^ Naughton, John (8 May 2011). "Britain's top 300 intellectuals". The
Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
Songs of the Scribe
Songs of the Scribe Sung by Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin". Journal
of Music. 6 December 2011.
^ Telford, Lyndsey (21 December 2011). "
Seamus Heaney declutters home
and donates personal notes to National Library". Irish Independent.
Independent News & Media. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
^ Madden, Anne (22 December 2011). "Seamus Heaney's papers go to
Dublin, but we don't mind, insists QUB". The
Retrieved 22 December 2011.
^ Prize, Griffin Poetry (7 June 2012). "2012 – Seamus Heaney".
Griffin Poetry Prize. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
^ "Seamus Heaney: The Music of What Happens". Emory Library.
^ "Seamus Heaney: The Music of What Happens". Retrieved 15 April
^ "Woodruff Library Welcomes
Seamus Heaney Exhibit".
^ Alison Flood. "New
Seamus Heaney translation to be published next
year". the Guardian.
^ a b HEANEY, Seamus : Death notice The Irish Times, 2013-09-30.
^ McGreevy, Ronan (30 August 2013). "Tributes paid to 'keeper of
language' Seamus Heaney". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 August
^ a b Higgins to lead mourners at funeral Mass for poet Sunday
Seamus Heaney laid to rest in Bellaghy, Irish Times, 2013-09-02.
^ "Seamus Heaney's last words were 'Noli timere', son tells funeral",
The Guardian, 2013-09-02.
^ Heaney, Mick (2015-09-12) Mick Heaney: My father's famous last
words; Seamus Heaney's son writes about his father's final message to
his family: ‘Noli timere’ The Irish Times.
^ "Epic tale goes Dublin's way", Irish Times, 2013-09-02.
^ Funeral of
Seamus Heaney to be broadcast live on RTÉ TheJournal.ie,
^ "Heaney books sell out amid massive demand", Irish Times,
^ Statement from
Áras an Uachtaráin
Áras an Uachtaráin –
Seamus Heaney Archived 25
May 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Áras an Uachtaráin, 2013-08-30.
^ President Michael D Higgins pays tribute to his friend Seamus Heaney
YouTube RTÉ News, 2013-09-31.
^ a b c Tributes to
Seamus Heaney BBC News Northern Ireland,
^ a b "Poet
Seamus Heaney dies aged 74". BBC News. 30 August 2013.
Retrieved 30 August 2013.
^ "President and Taoiseach lead tributes to the late Seamus Heaney:
Tributes paid to the Nobel Laureate who died this morning at the age
of 74". Irish Independent. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August
^ a b c Higgins, Charlotte; McDonald, Henry (30 August 2013). "Seamus
Heaney's death 'leaves breach in language itself': Tributes flow in
from fellow writers after poet who won Nobel prize for literature dies
Dublin aged 74". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
^ Tóibín, Colm (30 August 2013). "Seamus Heaney's books were events
in our lives". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
^ "Heaney deserves place among the pantheon, says Dorgan". The Irish
Times. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
^ "Emory honors literary icon with 'A Tribute to Seamus Heaney'".
Retrieved 15 April 2015.
^ "A Tribute To Seamus Heaney". Retrieved 15 April 2015.
^ "Seamus Heaney: A Memorial Celebration". Retrieved 15 April
^ "Bodleian Library - SPECIAL EVENT: Oxford Tribute to Seamus Heaney".
Retrieved 15 April 2015.
^ "Poets Gather to Remember
Seamus Heaney in New York City on November
11 at 7:00 p.m." Retrieved 15 April 2015.
^ a b c d e f g h "Biography". Poetry Foundation.
^ O'Donoghue, Bernard (2009). The Cambridge Companion to Seamus
Heaney. Cambridge University Press. p. 4.
^ O'Connell, Shaun (1 February 1985). "Station Island, Seamus Heaney".
Boston Review. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
Terry Eagleton reviews 'Beowulf' translated by
Seamus Heaney · LRB
11 November 1999". Lrb.co.uk. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
^ a b Potts, Robert (7 April 2001). "The view from Olympia". The
Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2001.
^ a b c d e Rahim, Sameer (11 May 2009). "Interview with Seamus
Heaney: On the eve of his 70th birthday,
Seamus Heaney tells Sameer
Rahim about his lifetime in poetry – and who he thinks would make a
good poet laureate". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 November
^ McElroy, Steven (21 January 2007). "The Week Ahead: Jan. 21 – 27".
The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 21 January
^ Kay, Magdalena. In Gratitude for all the Gifts:
Seamus Heaney and
Eastern Europe. University of Toronto Press, 2012.
^ a b Heaney, Seamus (25 October 2003). "Bags of enlightenment". The
Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 25 October 2003.
^ Trethewey, Natasha. "How
Seamus Heaney Influenced Poet Laureate
Natasha Trethewey". The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2
Seamus Heaney Was A Teacher, Critic, Translator". NPR.org. 30
August 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
^ 0=26 May 2013
^ "The Grinnell Singers to premiere Fairouz work during spring break
tour". Grinnell College News. Grinnell.edu. 14 April 2012. Retrieved
30 August 2013.
^ "Grinnell Singers to perform Apr. 14 campus premiere of commissioned
work". Grinnell College News. Grinnell.edu. 14 April 2012. Retrieved
11 June 2014.
^ Excerpt: Virgil (March 7, 2016). Translated by Seamus Heaney. "From
"The Aeneid" Book VI". The New Yorker. 92 (4): 27.
^ Cañadas, Ivan (2010). "Working Nation(s): Seamus Heaney's "Digging"
and the Work Ethic in Post-Colonial and Minority Writing". EESE:
Erfurt Electronic Studies in English.
^ Website of St. Louis Literary Award
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University Library Associates. "Recipients of the Saint
Louis Literary Award". Retrieved July 25, 2016.
^ "Kenyon Review for Literary Achievement". KenyonReview.org.
^ Newington, Giles (16 June 2012). "Heaney wins top Canadian prize".
The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Seamus Heaney
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Seamus Heaney.
Heaney's Nobel acceptance speech
Works by or about
Seamus Heaney in libraries (
Seamus Heaney on IMDb
Seamus Heaney at the Poetry Foundation
Seamus Heaney at the Poetry Archive
Seamus Heaney at the Academy for American Poets
Portraits of Heaney at the National Portrait Gallery, London
BBC Your Paintings in partnership PCF. Painting by Peter Edwards
Seamus Heaney collected news and commentary". The Guardian.
Henri Cole (Fall 1997). "Seamus Heaney, The Art of Poetry No. 75". The
Lannan Foundation reading and conversation with Dennis O'Driscoll, 1
October 2003. (Audio / video - 40 mins). Prose transcript.
1998 Whiting Writers' Award Keynote Speech
Seamus Heaney: Man of Words and Grace November–December 2013.
"History and the homeland" video from The New Yorker. 15 October 2008.
Paul Muldoon, interviews Heaney. (1 hr).
Archival material at Leeds University Library
Works by Seamus Heaney
Death of a Naturalist
Door into the Dark
The Haw Lantern
The Spirit Level
District and Circle
Selected Poems 1965–1975
New Selected Poems 1966–1987
The Cure at Troy
The Burial at Thebes
Sweeney Astray: A version from the Irish
The Testament of Cresseid
The Testament of Cresseid & Seven Fables
The Poet and The Piper
Michael J. Alexander
Nora K. Chadwick
P. J. Cosijn
Michael D. C. Drout
Francis Barton Gummere
Grímur Jónsson Thorkelin
J. R. R. Tolkien
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary
"Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics"
Beowulf and the Critics
"On Translating Beowulf"
Finn and Hengest
Charles Leslie Wrenn
Eaters of the Dead
The 13th Warrior
No Such Thing
Beowulf & Grendel (Wrath of Gods)
Beowulf: Prince of the Geats
Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands
Battle of Finnsburg
Chief Ollam of Ireland
Irish bardic poetry
Irish Literary Revival
Contention of the bards
Táin Bó Cúailnge
Mael Ísu Ua Brolcháin
Muircheartach Ó Cobhthaigh
Gilla Mo Dutu Úa Caiside
Baothghalach Mór Mac Aodhagáin
Giolla Brighde Mac Con Midhe
Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh
Flann mac Lonáin
Donnchadh Mór Ó Dálaigh
Lochlann Óg Ó Dálaigh
Fear Flaith Ó Gnímh
Mathghamhain Ó hIfearnáin
Cormac Mac Con Midhe
Eoghan Carrach Ó Siadhail
Fear Feasa Ó'n Cháinte
Tadhg Olltach Ó an Cháinte
Eochaidh Ó hÉoghusa
Proinsias Ó Doibhlin
Tarlach Rua Mac Dónaill
Gilla Cómáin mac Gilla Samthainde
Tadhg Dall Ó hÚigínn
Colmán of Cloyne
Cináed ua hArtacáin
Muireadhach Albanach Ó Dálaigh
Cearbhall Óg Ó Dálaigh
Máeleoin Bódur Ó Maolconaire
Diarmaid Mac an Bhaird
Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh
Óengus of Tallaght
Maol Sheachluinn na n-Uirsgéal Ó hÚigínn
Philip Ó Duibhgeannain
Tomás Ó Cobhthaigh
Dáibhí Ó Bruadair
Aogán Ó Rathaille
Aogán Ó Rathaille
Charles Gavan Duffy
James Clarence Mangan
Antoine Ó Raifteiri
Robert Dwyer Joyce
F. R. Higgins
Mary Devenport O'Neill
Máirtín Ó Direáin
Seán Ó Ríordáin
Máire Mhac an tSaoi
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
Micheál Mac Liammóir
Eoghan Ó Tuairisc
Cathal Ó Searcaigh
Rita Ann Higgins
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
W. F. Marshall
W. B. Yeats
Pádraig J. Daly
Faber Book of Irish Verse
The Wanderings of Oisin
Timna Cathaír Máir Caithréim Cellaig
Le dís cuirthear clú Laighean
Is acher in gaíth in-nocht...
Is trúag in ces i mbiam
Sen dollotar Ulaid ...
Sorrow is the worst thing in life ...
An Díbirt go Connachta
Foraire Uladh ar Aodh
A aonmhic Dé do céasadh thrínn
A theachtaire tig ón Róimh
An sluagh sidhe so i nEamhuin?
Cóir Connacht ar chath Laighean
Dia libh a laochruidh Gaoidhiol
The Prophecy of Berchán
Bean Torrach, fa Tuar Broide
Suantraí dá Mhac Tabhartha
Mná na hÉireann
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Love Songs of Connacht
Hi Uncle Sam
Meeting The British
Prayer Before Birth
Poetry Ireland Review
The Lace Curtain
Laureates of the
Nobel Prize in Literature
1901 Sully Prudhomme
1902 Theodor Mommsen
1903 Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
Frédéric Mistral / José Echegaray
1905 Henryk Sienkiewicz
1906 Giosuè Carducci
1907 Rudyard Kipling
1908 Rudolf Eucken
1909 Selma Lagerlöf
1910 Paul Heyse
1911 Maurice Maeterlinck
1912 Gerhart Hauptmann
1913 Rabindranath Tagore
1915 Romain Rolland
1916 Verner von Heidenstam
1917 Karl Gjellerup / Henrik Pontoppidan
1919 Carl Spitteler
1920 Knut Hamsun
1921 Anatole France
1922 Jacinto Benavente
1923 W. B. Yeats
1924 Władysław Reymont
1925 George Bernard Shaw
1926 Grazia Deledda
1927 Henri Bergson
1928 Sigrid Undset
1929 Thomas Mann
1930 Sinclair Lewis
1931 Erik Axel Karlfeldt
1932 John Galsworthy
1933 Ivan Bunin
1934 Luigi Pirandello
1936 Eugene O'Neill
1937 Roger Martin du Gard
1938 Pearl S. Buck
1939 Frans Eemil Sillanpää
1944 Johannes V. Jensen
1945 Gabriela Mistral
1946 Hermann Hesse
1947 André Gide
1948 T. S. Eliot
1949 William Faulkner
1950 Bertrand Russell
1951 Pär Lagerkvist
1952 François Mauriac
1953 Winston Churchill
1954 Ernest Hemingway
1955 Halldór Laxness
1956 Juan Ramón Jiménez
1957 Albert Camus
1958 Boris Pasternak
1959 Salvatore Quasimodo
1960 Saint-John Perse
1961 Ivo Andrić
1962 John Steinbeck
1963 Giorgos Seferis
Jean-Paul Sartre (declined award)
1965 Mikhail Sholokhov
Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Shmuel Yosef Agnon / Nelly Sachs
1967 Miguel Ángel Asturias
1968 Yasunari Kawabata
1969 Samuel Beckett
1970 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
1971 Pablo Neruda
1972 Heinrich Böll
1973 Patrick White
Eyvind Johnson / Harry Martinson
1975 Eugenio Montale
1976 Saul Bellow
1977 Vicente Aleixandre
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer
1979 Odysseas Elytis
1980 Czesław Miłosz
1981 Elias Canetti
1982 Gabriel García Márquez
1983 William Golding
1984 Jaroslav Seifert
1985 Claude Simon
1986 Wole Soyinka
1987 Joseph Brodsky
1988 Naguib Mahfouz
1989 Camilo José Cela
1990 Octavio Paz
1991 Nadine Gordimer
1992 Derek Walcott
1993 Toni Morrison
1994 Kenzaburō Ōe
1995 Seamus Heaney
1996 Wisława Szymborska
1997 Dario Fo
1998 José Saramago
1999 Günter Grass
2000 Gao Xingjian
2001 V. S. Naipaul
2002 Imre Kertész
2003 J. M. Coetzee
2004 Elfriede Jelinek
2005 Harold Pinter
2006 Orhan Pamuk
2007 Doris Lessing
2008 J. M. G. Le Clézio
2009 Herta Müller
2010 Mario Vargas Llosa
2011 Tomas Tranströmer
2012 Mo Yan
2013 Alice Munro
2014 Patrick Modiano
2015 Svetlana Alexievich
2016 Bob Dylan
2017 Kazuo Ishiguro
Nobel Prize laureates
Paul J. Crutzen
Paul J. Crutzen (Netherlands)
Mario J. Molina
Mario J. Molina (Mexico)
F. Sherwood Rowland (United States)
Seamus Heaney (Ireland)
Joseph Rotblat (United Kingdom/Poland)
Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Canada)
Martin Lewis Perl (United States)
Frederick Reines (United States)
Physiology or Medicine
Edward B. Lewis
Edward B. Lewis (United States)
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (Germany)
Eric F. Wieschaus
Eric F. Wieschaus (United States)
Robert Lucas, Jr. (United States)
Nobel Prize recipients
Awards received by Seamus Heaney
Recipients of the Mondello Prize
Single Prize for Literature: Bartolo Cattafi (1975) • Achille
Campanile (1976) •
Günter Grass (1977)
Special Jury Prize: Denise McSmith (1975) •
Stefano D'Arrigo (1977)
• Jurij Trifonov (1978) •
Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz (1979) • Pietro
Consagra (1980) • Ignazio Buttitta, Angelo Maria e Ela Ripellino
Leonardo Sciascia (1985) • Wang Meng (1987) • Mikhail
Gorbaciov (1988) • Peter Carey, José Donoso, Northrop Frye, Jorge
Semprún, Wole Soyinka, Lu Tongliu (1990) •
Fernanda Pivano (1992)
• Associazione Scrittori Cinesi (1993) • Dong Baoucum, Fan Boaci,
Wang Huanbao, Shi Peide, Chen Yuanbin (1995) • Xu Huainzhong, Xiao
Xue, Yu Yougqnan, Qin Weinjung (1996) •
Khushwant Singh (1997) •
Javier Marías (1998) • Francesco Burdin (2001) • Luciano Erba
(2002) • Isabella Quarantotti De Filippo (2003) • Marina Rullo
(2006) • Andrea Ceccherini (2007) •
Enrique Vila-Matas (2009) •
Francesco Forgione (2010)
First narrative work: Carmelo Samonà (1978) • Fausta Garavini
First poetic work: Giovanni Giuga (1978) • Gilberto Sacerdoti (1979)
Prize for foreign literature:
Milan Kundera (1978) • N. Scott
Momaday (1979) •
Juan Carlos Onetti (1980) • Tadeusz Konwicki
Prize for foreign poetry: Jannis Ritsos (1978) • Josif Brodskij
Juan Gelman (1980) •
Gyula Illyés (1981)
Valerio Magrelli (1980) • Ferruccio Benzoni, Stefano
Simoncelli, Walter Valeri,
Laura Mancinelli (1981) • Jolanda Insana
Daniele Del Giudice (1983) •
Aldo Busi (1984) •
Elisabetta Rasy, Dario Villa (1985) • Marco Lodoli, Angelo Mainardi
(1986) • Marco Ceriani, Giovanni Giudice (1987) • Edoardo
Albinati, Silvana La Spina (1988) • Andrea Canobbio, Romana Petri
(1990) • Anna Cascella (1991) • Marco Caporali, Nelida Milani
(1992) • Silvana Grasso, Giulio Mozzi (1993) • Ernesto Franco
(1994) • Roberto Deidier (1995) • Giuseppe Quatriglio, Tiziano
Scarpa (1996) • Fabrizio Rondolino (1997) • Alba Donati (1998) •
Paolo Febbraro (1999) • Evelina Santangelo (2000) • Giuseppe Lupo
(2001) • Giovanni Bergamini, Simona Corso (2003) • Adriano Lo
Monaco (2004) • Piercarlo Rizzi (2005) • Francesco Fontana (2006)
• Paolo Fallai (2007) • Luca Giachi (2008) • Carlo Carabba
(2009) • Gabriele Pedullà (2010)
Alain Robbe-Grillet (1982) •
Thomas Bernhard (1983)
Adolfo Bioy Casares
Adolfo Bioy Casares (1984) •
Bernard Malamud (1985) •
Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1986) •
Doris Lessing (1987) • V. S.
Naipaul (1988) •
Octavio Paz (1989) •
Christa Wolf (1990) • Kurt
Vonnegut (1991) •
Bohumil Hrabal (1992) •
Seamus Heaney (1993) •
J. M. Coetzee
J. M. Coetzee (1994) • Vladimir Vojnovič (1995) • David Grossman
Philippe Jaccottet (1998) •
Don DeLillo (1999) •
Aleksandar Tišma (2000) •
Nuruddin Farah (2001) • Per Olov
Enquist (2002) •
Adunis (2003) • Les Murray (2004) • Magda
Szabó (2005) •
Uwe Timm (2006) •
Bapsi Sidhwa (2007) • Viktor
Erofeev (2009) •
Edmund White (2010) •
Javier Cercas (2011) •
Elizabeth Strout (2012) •
Péter Esterházy (2013) • Joe R.
Lansdale (2014) •
Emmanuel Carrère (2015) • Marilynne Robinson
Cees Nooteboom (2017)
Alberto Moravia (1982) •
Vittorio Sereni alla
memoria (1983) •
Italo Calvino (1984) •
Mario Luzi (1985) •
Paolo Volponi (1986) •
Luigi Malerba (1987) • Oreste del Buono
Giovanni Macchia (1989) • Gianni Celati, Emilio Villa
Andrea Zanzotto (1991) •
Ottiero Ottieri (1992) •
Attilio Bertolucci (1993) •
Luigi Meneghello (1994) • Fernando
Bandini, Michele Perriera (1995) • Nico Orengo (1996) • Giuseppe
Giovanni Raboni (1997) •
Carlo Ginzburg (1998) •
Alessandro Parronchi (1999) •
Elio Bartolini (2000) • Roberto
Alajmo (2001) •
Andrea Camilleri (2002) • Andrea Carraro, Antonio
Giorgio Pressburger (2003) • Maurizio Bettini, Giorgio
Nelo Risi (2004) • pr. Raffaele Nigro, sec. Maurizio
Cucchi, ter. Giuseppe Conte (2005) • pr. Paolo Di Stefano, sec.
Giulio Angioni (2006) • pr. Mario Fortunato, sec. Toni Maraini, ter.
Andrea Di Consoli (2007) • pr. Andrea Bajani, sec. Antonio Scurati,
Flavio Soriga (2008) • pr. Mario Desiati, sec. Osvaldo
Guerrieri, ter. Gregorio Scalise (2009) • pr. Lorenzo Pavolini, sec.
Roberto Cazzola, ter. (2010) • pr. Eugenio Baroncelli, sec. Milo De
Igiaba Scego (2011) • pr. Edoardo Albinati, sec. Paolo
Di Paolo, ter. Davide Orecchio (2012) • pr. Andrea Canobbio, sec.
Valerio Magrelli, ter. Walter Siti (2013) • pr. Irene Chias, sec.
Giorgio Falco, ter. Francesco Pecoraro (2014) • pr. Nicola Lagioia,
sec. Letizia Muratori, ter. Marco Missiroli (2015) • pr. Marcello
Fois, sec. Emanuele Tonon, ter.
Romana Petri (2016) • pr. Stefano
Massini, sec. Alessandro Zaccuri, ter. Alessandra Sarchi (2017)
"Five Continents" Award: Kōbō Abe, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Germaine
Greer, Wilson Harris,
José Saramago (1992) •
Kenzaburō Ōe (1993)
Stephen Spender (1994) • Thomas Keneally, Alberto Arbasino
(1996) • Margaret Atwood, André Brink, David Malouf, Romesh
Christoph Ransmayr (1997)
"Palermo bridge for Europe" Award:
Dacia Maraini (1999), Premio
Palermo ponte per il Mediterraneo
Alberto Arbasino (2000)
"Ignazio Buttitta" Award: Nino De Vita (2003) • Attilio Lolini
(2005) • Roberto Rossi Precerotti (2006) • Silvia Bre (2007)
Tiziano Scarpa (2009) •
Michela Murgia (2010) •
Eugenio Baroncelli (2011) • Davide Orecchio (2012) • Valerio
Magrelli (2013) • Giorgio Falco (2014) • Marco Missiroli (2015)
Romana Petri (2016) • Stefano Massini (2017)
Special award of the President: Ibrahim al-Koni (2009) • Emmanuele
Maria Emanuele (2010) • Antonio Calabrò (2011)
Poetry prize: Antonio Riccardi (2010)
Translation Award: Evgenij Solonovic (2010)
Identity and dialectal literatures award: Gialuigi Beccaria e Marco
Essays Prize: Marzio Barbagli (2010)
Mondello for Multiculturality Award:
Kim Thúy (2011)
Mondello Youths Award: Claudia Durastanti (2011) • Edoardo Albinati
(2012) • Alessandro Zaccuri (2017)
"Targa Archimede", Premio all'Intelligenza d'Impresa: Enzo Sellerio
Prize for Literary Criticism: Salvatore Silvano Nigro (2012) •
Maurizio Bettini (2013) • Enrico Testa (2014) • Ermanno Cavazzoni
(2015) • Serena Vitale (2016) • Antonio Prete (2017)
Award for best motivation: Simona Gioè (2012)
Special award for travel literature: Marina Valensise (2013)
Special Award 40 Years of Mondello:
Struga Poetry Evenings
Struga Poetry Evenings Golden Wreath Laureates
Robert Rozhdestvensky (1966)
Bulat Okudzhava (1967)
László Nagy (1968)
Mak Dizdar (1969)
Miodrag Pavlović (1970)
W. H. Auden
W. H. Auden (1971)
Pablo Neruda (1972)
Eugenio Montale (1973)
Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca
Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca (1974)
Léopold Sédar Senghor
Léopold Sédar Senghor (1975)
Eugène Guillevic (1976)
Artur Lundkvist (1977)
Rafael Alberti (1978)
Miroslav Krleža (1979)
Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Hans Magnus Enzensberger (1980)
Blaže Koneski (1981)
Nichita Stănescu (1982)
Sachchidananda Vatsyayan 'Ajneya' (1983)
Andrei Voznesensky (1984)
Yiannis Ritsos (1985)
Allen Ginsberg (1986)
Tadeusz Różewicz (1987)
Desanka Maksimović (1988)
Thomas Shapcott (1989)
Justo Jorge Padrón (1990)
Joseph Brodsky (1991)
Ferenc Juhász (1992)
Gennadiy Aygi (1993)
Ted Hughes (1994)
Yehuda Amichai (1995)
Makoto Ooka (1996)
Liu Banjiu (1998)
Yves Bonnefoy (1999)
Edoardo Sanguineti (2000)
Seamus Heaney (2001)
Slavko Mihalić (2002)
Tomas Tranströmer (2003)
Vasco Graça Moura (2004)
William S. Merwin (2005)
Nancy Morejón (2006)
Mahmoud Darwish (2007)
Fatos Arapi (2008)
Tomaž Šalamun (2009)
Lyubomir Levchev (2010)
Mateja Matevski (2011)
Mongane Wally Serote (2012)
José Emilio Pacheco
José Emilio Pacheco (2013)
Ko Un (2014)
Bei Dao (2015)
Margaret Atwood (2016)
Charles Simic (2017)
Adam Zagajewski (2018)
Poetry Now Award
Dorothy Molloy (2005)
Derek Mahon (2006)
Seamus Heaney (2007)
Harry Clifton (2008)
Derek Mahon (2009)
Sinéad Morrissey (2010)
Seamus Heaney (2011)
Michael Longley (2012)
Dennis O'Driscoll (2013)
David Cohen Prize
V. S. Naipaul
V. S. Naipaul (1993)
Harold Pinter (1995)
Muriel Spark (1997)
William Trevor (1999)
Doris Lessing (2001)
Beryl Bainbridge and
Thom Gunn (2003)
Michael Holroyd (2005)
Derek Mahon (2007)
Seamus Heaney (2009)
Julian Barnes (2011)
Hilary Mantel (2013)
Tony Harrison (2015)
ISNI: 0000 0001 2321 5547
BNF: cb120378139 (data)
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