Remembering the Generosity and Poetry of Seamus Heaney

by Jennifer Gunter King, Director of the Rose Library. 

Seamus Heaney, 12th Night, 2013, Emory University

The Rose Library remembers Nobel-prize winning poet Seamus Heaney – an extraordinary poet and friend – on the 10th anniversary of his death.

At the center of the Rose Library’s modern literature and poetry holdings are the papers of Seamus Heaney, whose poetry and influence as a writer and educator is interwoven throughout nearly all our poetry holdings.  Heaney’s papers offer an intimate journey into Heaney’s relationships, networks, and writing.

Heaney’s connection with Emory goes back to 1981 when he gave his first reading at Emory University. In 1988, he delivered the inaugural The Richard Ellmann Lecture in Modern Literature. His last poetry reading at Emory University was on March 2nd, 2013 at Glenn Auditorium.

This week, Geraldine Higgins, curator of the Heaney exhibitions: The Music of What Happens and Listen Now Again, joined a radio program available on RTE Radio 1. During the program, Geraldine and other guests discuss the life and work of Heaney. Click here to listen to this discussion. 

This year also marks the publication of The Letters of Seamus Heaney, edited by Christopher Reid.

In this wonderful video produced by the library’s Academic Technology Services team, Geraldine Higgins, shares selections from the Heaney papers in the Rose Library:


SeamusHeaney from Emory Academic Video Services on Vimeo.

Postcards from Heaney Country are a suite of short films featuring four Heaney poems, created by the National Library of Ireland in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Estate of Seamus Heaney. The four works performed during the short films are “The Rainstick”, “Glanmore Sonnet I”, “Tinder” and “Lightenings VIII”. 

Seamus Heaney, 12th Night, 2013, Emory University

Seamus and Marie Heaney, 12th Night, 2013, Emory University

Seamus Heaney and Kevin Young, 12th Night, 2013, Emory University

The Rose Library is honored to be among the institutions that help to enable engagement with Seamus Heaney’s generous legacy as a poet and writer and friend through his papers and the many memories of his time with us.