THE SEAMUS HEANEY LECTURES
LÉACHTAÍ SEAMUS HEANEY
Heaney is one of the leading poets of his generation.
Born in County Derry in Northern Ireland and educated at Queen’s
University, Belfast, he published his first book, Death of a Naturalist,
in 1966. Since then he has produced many volumes of poetry, criticism
and translation. His most recent
collection, The Spirit Level, won the Whitbread Book of the Year award in
1996 and his translation of Beowulf was Whitbread’s 1999 winner.
He has been Professor of Poetry at Oxford and Boylston Professor of
Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard. In 1995, Seamus Heaney was awarded the Nobel
Prize for Literature.
2000, Professor Heaney agreed to lend his name to a series of public lectures to
be hosted annually by St Patrick’s College, a college of Dublin City
University. The college is honoured
and privileged to have so illustrious a patron for its lecture series, and is
determined that the lectures will live up to their name in terms alike of the
excellence, resourcefulness and alertness to humane values which have
characterised the poet’s work from the beginning.
Heaney has had connections with St Patrick’s College since the early 1970s,
when he was appointed Head of the English department at Carysfort College,
Dublin, a sister college of St Patrick’s. (Carysfort was established by the
Mercy Sisters in the late nineteenth century and remained a major centre for the
education of primary teachers until its closure in the 1980s.)
In his work at Carysfort and in many of his lectures and publications in
more recent years, Seamus Heaney has been a champion of the role of the
Humanities in the broadest sense of that word in teacher education.