Seamus Heaney 1939 - 2013

RTÉ Archives was saddened to hear of the death of the poet Seamus Heaney. The Nobel laureate had a long relationship with RTÉ, from his first appearance on 'The Late Late Show' in the 1960s to read from his work 'Mid Term Break' to the 15-cd box set of his poems, 'Heaney at 70', produced to celebrate his 70th birthday in 2009.

Seamus Heaney was born on a farm in Derry in 1939. He attended St Columb's College in Derry and Queen's University Belfast, where he studied English Language and Literature. Faber and Faber published his first collection of poetry, 'Death of a Naturalist' in 1966. He moved to Wickow in 1972 and worked as a lecturer at the teacher training college in Carysfort, Dublin. He became a visiting lecturer at Harvard University in 1981, which enabled him to dedicate eight months a year to his writing. His twelve poetry collections include 'Door into the Dark' (1969), 'Wintering Out' (1972) and 'North' (1975). His most recent collection, 'Human Chain' was published in 2010. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995.

Seamus Heaney presented a number of programmes on RTÉ, including the radio books programme 'Imprint' (1972) and 'Poems Plain'(1978), a series of short radio talks on the art of poetry. He appeared on RTÉ's schools' programme 'Telefís Scoile' to talk about Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth' (1975) and was interviewed many times about his own work. The clip presented here is from the programme 'Writer in Profile' (1976) where Heaney talks about his childhood growing up in Derry. 'Writer in Profile: Seamus Heaney' was presented by Aindreas Ó Gallchóir and was first broadcast on 23 August, 1976.

RTÉ Player - Hanly's People
David Hanly talks to Seamus Heaney about his early life at home in a divided townland with his family and neighbours: going to Queen's: the Civil Rights Movement: his first stirrings of poetry: success as a poet and on being famous. He reads 'Fosterling' the poem he wrote for fellow Northern Ireland Poet, John Montague. This programme was first broadcast on 10 April, 1989 and can now be viewed on RTÉ Player.

Seamus Heaney

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