Seamus Heaney is widely recognized as one of the major poets of the 20th century. A native of Northern Ireland, Heaney was raised in County Derry, and later lived for many years in Dublin. He was the author of over twenty volumes of poetry and criticism, and edited several widely used anthologies. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.” Heaney taught at Harvard University (1985-2006) and served as the Oxford Professor of Poetry (1989-1994). He died in 2013.
In 2003, MARBL acquired a significant portion of Heaney’s papers, composed of manuscripts, photos, recordings of readings and lectures, and personal and literary correspondence that includes insightful exchanges with many poets whose papers are also housed at MARBL. The collection was the subject of a major 2014 exhibition at Emory, curated by Geraldine Higgins, associate professor of English and director of the Irish Studies program at Emory.