Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013

heaneyI had never heard of Seamus Heaney until I visited Northern Ireland, my husband’s family of origin, in 2004. We were visiting with a cousin in County Tyrone when I picked up a book on the coffee table and asked a room full of family: “Who’s Seamus Heaney?” I heard a gasp, followed by silence, then quiet mumbling.

It became the family’s mission: Educate the ignorant visiting Canadian about County Tyrone’s most celebrated poet – which they did with great passion and joy. The trip became a crash course on Heaney – his life and his work, and the impact that he had on his readers around the world.

I was very sad today to learn of his passing on Friday, August 30th, at the age of 74.

Read more about Heaney:

“Seamus Heaney, Nobel Prize-winning poet, dies” – CBC News

“Seamus Heaney, Irish Poet of Soil and Strife, Dies at 74” – New York Times

Biography – Poetry Foundation

1995 Nobel Prize Lecture –  youtube

Seamus Heaney Facts – Nobelprize.org

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