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Series 5
Belfast Group worksheets, [1971-1972]
Box 41

Scope and Content Note

This series contains worksheets for the Belfast Group from 1971-1972. The Belfast Group, an informal writers' group where the participants read and discussed each other's work, was founded by the poet Philip Hobsbaum in 1963. Hobsbaum stopped his direction of the meetings when he moved back to England in 1966, but Seamus Heaney continued to organize the meetings off and on for the next six years. Early participants included Heaney, Longley, Mahon, James Simmons, and Stewart Parker. Paul Muldoon and Ciaran Carson joined the group in the early 1970s. Typically, one writer's work highlighted a given session. A small selection of poems or, less commonly, a short story would be mimeographed and distributed to participants. These "group sheets" organized by author document the development of both individual writers and a community of writers in Northern Ireland. The Group under Heaney's auspices finally ceased altogether in 1972 at a time of escalating political violence in Northern Ireland. More information about the Belfast Group may be found at

The Carson papers contain worksheets for the final year of the Belfast Group's existence, 1971-1972. In Carson's papers, these worksheets were gathered together in a folder with various cut-outs of published Carson and Heaney poems (See Subseries 4.1 and 4.3), as well as typescripts of poems found in The Insular Celts and Uncollected Poems. See these poems in Subseries 2.2.

Arrangement Note

Arranged alphabetically by author.

Box Folder Content
41 1 Carson, Ciaran: "Letter from Alaska", "Aranmore Island" (with three sections entitled "Erratics," "The Fault," and "American Wake"), "The Island Revisited", "Wheel", "Post Mortem on a Mass Grave", "The Clockwork Pigeon"; [undated] Carson, Ciaran:
41 2 Heaney, Seamus: "Servant Boy", "The Last Mummer", "Gifts of Rain", "The Tollund Man", "Westering"; [8 November 1971] Heaney, Seamus:
41 3 Longley, Michael: "Altera Cithera", "Three Posthumous Pieces", "The Island", "Casualty", "Badger", "Hedgehog", "Kingfisher", "Robin", "The Adulterer"; [31 January 1972] Longley, Michael:
41 4 MacLaverty, Bernard: "The Deep End"; [14 February 1972] MacLaverty, Bernard:
41 5 McMahon, Trevor: "Moth", "Worm", "The Planter Speaks", "Old Man", "To Those Involved in Rigid Disciplines", "Rat Song", "The Fool's Soliloquy", "Poem as Mammoth"; [22 November 1971] McMahon, Trevor:
41 6 Muldoon, Paul: "Blowing Eggs", "The Radio Horse", "The Field Hospital", "On a Dog of Unlike Eyes", "The Lost Tribe", "The Upriver Incident", "Party Piece"; [25 October 1971] Muldoon, Paul: