Encounters with Books and Poets


About this Item

On leaving university, Heaney got to know Irish literature and other writers.

  • Title
    My Education: Seamus Heaney
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    John Quinn (Presenter)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    My Education
  • Clip title
    Encounters with Books and Poets
  • Extended description

    On leaving university Heaney won a book token, which he used to buy books by Irish writers. He explains to John Quinn that at Queen's they were taught by English people and he was not familiar with Irish literature. So he read Louis MacNeice, John Millington Synge and Oscar Wilde. He also got to know other Irish writers through the Group set up by Philip Hobsbaum. Michael and Edna Longley and Derek Mahon introduced him to the literary styles of Dublin. Heaney began to publish his own work at this time.

  • Information

    ‘My Education’ was a 1990s radio series in which famous people recalled their education. It was presented and produced by John Quinn.  Each half-hour programme focused on the memories of one person, who described “all the influences – family, school, books, events, places – that have contributed to his or her ‘education’” (RTÉ Guide, 31 May 1991, p. 4). ‘My Education was originally designed as a summer series and first broadcast on 6 June 1991.

    The accompanying image shows Belfast city from the roof of Fanum House on Great Victoria Street in October 1982. The photographer was Tom Holton. © RTÉ Archives 2058/034

  • Local keywords
    Seamus Heaney, Poet, Poetry, Literature, Education, Belfast, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, The Group, Philip Hobsbaum, Michael Longley, Edna Longley, Derek Mahon, Louis MacNeice, John Millington Synge, Oscar Wilde, John Quinn
  • Geographical coverage
  • Topic
    Arts and Culture
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    RTÉ Radio One
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

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  • Item type
  • Item sound
  • Language used
    English (eng)