01: Seamus Heaney
A poet's life and work in his own words.
Seamus Heaney is one of the world's best-known poets. His work also includes literary criticism and translation, and he held prestigious teaching positions in the UK and the USA throughout his lifetime. His poetry is uniquely popular, creating in the words of the Nobel Academy
works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.
Heaney appeared regularly on radio and television to talk about himself and his work and to read his poetry. He first appeared on RTÉ on 'The Late Late Show' in the 1960s when he read 'Mid-Term Break', a recording which no longer exists. In the following years, Heaney presented a number of book and poetry programmes for the national broadcaster and was interviewed many times. The archive material presented in this online exhibition draws on these recordings to take a look at Seamus Heaney in his own words, from his childhood in 1940s Derry through the different stages in a very full life.
Heaney's death in 2013 was mourned throughout Ireland. The final section of the exhibition looks at what Heaney meant to the Irish people as well as to the literary community.
The accompanying image shows Seamus Heaney in 2008. The photographer was Mark Stedman. Image reproduced with kind permission of Photocall.