Seamus Heaney BY Ben Murphy Contents • • • • • • Facts Family Childhood Books/Poetry Occupation Prizes/Honours Facts Full Name: Seamus Justin Heaney Birth: 13 April 1939 Father: Patrick Heaney Mother: Margaret Kathleen McCann Heaney Siblings: two sisters and six brothers Spouse: Marie Devlin Number of Children: 03 Education: St. Columb's College, Queen's University Family 1/2 His father, Patrick Heaney, a local of Castledawson, was the eighth child of ten born to James and Sarah Heaney. Patrick was a farmer but his real commitment was to cattle-dealing, to which he was introduced by the uncles who had cared for him after the early death of his own parents. Family 2/2 Heaney's mother came from the McCann family, whose uncles and relations were employed in the local linen mill and whose aunt had worked as a maid for the mill owner's family. Childhood Heaney was born on 13 April 1939 at the family farmhouse called Mossbawn, between Castledawson and Toomebridge in Northern Ireland. Heaney was the first of nine children. In 1953, his family moved to Bellaghy, a few miles away, which is now the family home. He received a scholarship to attend the boarding school St. Columb’s College in Derry and went on to Queen’s University Belfast, studying english and graduating in 1961. Books/Poetry 1/2 Some of Heaney’s more popular books include: Buile Suibhne Opened Ground District and Circle The Redress of Poetry As a translater, Heany’s most famous work is the translation of the epic Anglo Saxon poem Beowulf. The Testament of Cresseid and Seven Fables. Books/Poetry 2/2 Some of Heaney’s most popular poems include: A Kite for Aibhin Blackberry Picking Casualty Death of a Naturalist Digging Exposure From Lightnings Keeping Going Lovers on Aran Mossbawn Midterm Break Occupation In the early 1960s he became a lecturer in Belfast after attending a university there. In 1962 Heaney’s poetry began being published. Seamus Heaney published his first poetry book in 1966, ‘Death of a Naturalist’. In 1972, Heaney left Belfast and moved to Dublin and worked as a teacher in Carysfort College. Seamus Heaney was a visiting Professor at Harvard University from 1981 to 1997. From 1989 to 1994 he was also the Professor of Poetry at Oxford, having only to deliver three public lectures every year, this post did not require him to reside in Oxford. In 1996 Heaney was made a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres. Prizes/Honours Among his many awards Heaney’s most famous award is the Nobel Prise in Literature in 1995 . Whitbred Book of the Year award in 1996. T.S. Eliot Prize in 2006. 2008 Seamus Heaney street in Denmark named after him. 2009, David Cohen Prize, 2010 Forward Poetry Prize. 2011,Britains top 300 intellectuals. 2012, Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry’s Lifetime Recognition Award. Farewell A writer and a speaker, Heaney died on 30/08/13 in Blackrock Clinic in Dublin following a short illness. Hundreds of people attended his funeral. A crowd of 81,553 spectators applauded Heaney for three minutes at an All Ireland Gaelic semi-final match on September 1st. His funeral was broadcast live the following day on R.T.E radio and television. His poetry collections sold out rapidly in Isish bookshops immediately following his death.