Heaney, Seamus Justin

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Date: Edition 1 1995
Publisher: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Document Type: Brief article; Brief biography
Length: 193 words

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Heaney, Seamus Justin (b. April 13, 1939, near Castledàwson, County Londonderry, N.Ire.)

Irish poet whose poems are rooted in Northern Irish rural life. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995.

After graduating from Queen's University, Belfast, Heaney taught secondary school and lectured in colleges and universities in Belfast and Dublin. In 1982 he joined the faculty of Harvard University as visiting professor and, in 1985, became full professor--a post he retained while teaching at the University of Oxford (1989-94).

His prizewinning poetry collection Death of a Naturalist (1966) was followed by several volumes, including Door into the Dark (1969), Wintering Out (1972), North (1975), Field Work (1979), Station Island (1984), The Haw Lantern (1987), and Seeing Things (1991). His poems evoke Irish history and draw on myth and unique aspects of the Irish experience. Simplicity and clarity distinguish his style.

In essays such as those published as Preoccupations: Selected Prose, 1968-1978 (1980), Heaney wrote about poetry and poets he admired, including William Wordsworth, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Robert Lowell, and provided autobiographical insights into his own work. A collection of his Oxford lectures was published as The Redress of Poetry (1995).

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A148918571