In 'District and Circle', Seamus Heaney returned again to his past, to Derry in the 1940s.

Heaney also tapped into an air of threat that seemed to greet the world in the new century. 'Anything Can Happen', a translation from Horace, juxtaposes an ancient terror with the tragedy of the Twin Towers. While the title poem, a meditation on travelling on the London Underground, is also a reminder of the bombings in that city.

2008 saw the publication of 'Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney' by fellow poet Dennis O'Driscoll. On agreeing to do the book, Heaney commented that "the time had come to make a record". The following year Heaney was awarded the David Cohen Prize for Literature just before his 70th birthday, a prestigious award for a lifetime's achievement.

The accompanying image shows Andrew Motion presenting Seamus Heaney with the David Cohen Prize. © RTÉ Archives 3031/015