HEANEY, SEAMUS, 1939-2013.
Seamus Heaney papers, 1951-2004

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zf3z


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Heaney, Seamus, 1939-2013.
Title: Seamus Heaney papers, 1951-2004
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 960
Extent: 51 linear ft. (102 boxes), 14 oversized papers (OP), and AV Masters: .5 linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract:Personal papers of Irish poet Seamus Heaney consisting mostly of correspondence, as well as some literary manuscripts, printed material, subject files, photographs, audiovisual material, and personal papers from 1951-2004.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on access

Special restrictions apply: Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Source

Purchase, 2003.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Seamus Heaney papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Pat Clark, June 14, 2005.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Seamus Heaney was born on April 13, 1939, to Margaret and Patrick Heaney. The eldest of nine children, he was born at the family farm, Mossbawn, northwest of Belfast in County Derry. He attended the local school at Anahorish until 1957 when he enrolled at Queens University, Belfast, where he studied English. After graduation he taught English at St. Joseph's College in Belfast.

While at St. Joseph's he began to write, publishing work in university magazines under the pseudonym Incertus. During that time, he joined a poetry workshop organized by Philip Hobsbaum. In 1965, in connection with the Belfast Festival, he published Eleven Poems, and in August of that year he married Marie Devlin. The following year he became a lecturer in modern English literature at Queens University; his first son, Michael, was born; and Faber and Faber published Death of a Naturalist. This collection earned him the Eric Gregory Award, the Cholmondeley Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Marie and Seamus Heaney's second son, Christopher, was born in 1968.

Door Into the Dark, published in 1969, was a Poetry Book Society Choice for the year. In 1970-1971, Heaney was guest lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. He returned to Northern Ireland in 1971, and in 1972 he resigned his lectureship at Queens University, moved his family to Glanmore, in County Wicklow, and published Wintering Out. In 1973 his daughter Catherine Ann was born. During this year he also received the Denis Devlin Award and the Writer in Residence Award from the American Irish Foundation. In 1975 North was published, winning the E.M. Forster Award and the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. During these years at Glanmore, Heaney also gave many readings in the United States and England and edited two poetry anthologies.

In 1975 Heaney began teaching at Carysfort Collegein Dublin, and in 1976 he and his family moved to Sandymount in the city. In 1979 Heaney published Field Work and in 1980 Selected Poems and Preoccupations. In 1981 he gave up his position at Carysfort to become visiting professor at Harvard. In 1982 he won the Bennett Award and Queens University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters. He co-founded Field Day Company with the playwright Brian Friel and others in 1983. Station Island, his first collection in five years, was published in 1984. During that year he was elected Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard. That same year his mother died.

In 1988 Seamus Heaney visited Emory University where he inaugurated the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature. These lectures were collected and published as The Place of Writing in 1989. In 1991 Heaney published a new collection Seeing Things, followed by the Redress of Poetry in 1995. In the fall of that year, Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

In recent years Heaney has been recipient of numerous awards and prizes. His translation of Beowulf (1999) won the Whitbread Award for best book of the year, and his Finders Keepers (2002) won the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. He also has been awarded a number of honorary degrees; he is a member of Aosdana, the Irish Academy of Artist and Writers, and is a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition, he has been made a Comandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

Seamus Heaney was born on April 13, 1939, to Margaret and Patrick Heaney. The eldest of nine children, he was born at the family farm, Mossbawn, northwest of Belfast in County Derry. He attended the local school at Anahorish until 1957 when he enrolled at Queens University, Belfast, where he studied English. After graduation he taught English at St. Joseph's College in Belfast.

While at St. Joseph's he began to write, publishing work in university magazines under the pseudonym Incertus. During that time, he joined a poetry workshop organized by Philip Hobsbaum. In 1965, in connection with the Belfast Festival, he published Eleven Poems, and in August of that year he married Marie Devlin. The following year he became a lecturer in modern English literature at Queens University; his first son, Michael, was born; and Faber and Faber published Death of a Naturalist. This collection earned him the Eric Gregory Award, the Cholmondeley Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Marie and Seamus Heaney's second son, Christopher, was born in 1968.

Door Into the Dark, published in 1969, was a Poetry Book Society Choice for the year. In 1970-1971, Heaney was guest lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. He returned to Northern Ireland in 1971, and in 1972 he resigned his lectureship at Queens University, moved his family to Glanmore, in County Wicklow, and published Wintering Out. In 1973 his daughter Catherine Ann was born. During this year he also received the Denis Devlin Award and the Writer in Residence Award from the American Irish Foundation. In 1975 North was published, winning the E.M. Forster Award and the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. During these years at Glanmore, Heaney also gave many readings in the United States and England and edited two poetry anthologies.

In 1975 Heaney began teaching at Carysfort Collegein Dublin, and in 1976 he and his family moved to Sandymount in the city. In 1979 Heaney published Field Work and in 1980 Selected Poems and Preoccupations. In 1981 he gave up his position at Carysfort to become visiting professor at Harvard. In 1982 he won the Bennett Award and Queens University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters. He co-founded Field Day Company with the playwright Brian Friel and others in 1983. Station Island, his first collection in five years, was published in 1984. During that year he was elected Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard. That same year his mother died.

In 1988 Seamus Heaney visited Emory University where he inaugurated the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature. These lectures were collected and published as The Place of Writing in 1989. In 1991 Heaney published a new collection Seeing Things, followed by the Redress of Poetry in 1995. In the fall of that year, Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

In recent years Heaney has been recipient of numerous awards and prizes. His translation of Beowulf (1999) won the Whitbread Award for best book of the year, and his Finders Keepers (2002) won the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. He also has been awarded a number of honorary degrees; he is a member of Aosdana, the Irish Academy of Artist and Writers, and is a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition, he has been made a Comandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

Scope and Content Note

The Seamus Heaney papers consist of correspondence, literary manuscripts, printed material, subject files, photographs, audiovisual material, and personal papers from 1951-2004. Correspondence (1963-2004) comprises the bulk of the collection and documents Heaney’s relationship with his students, publishers, friends, and other literary figures, including Joseph Brodsky, Donald Davie, Seamus Deane, Douglas Dunn, Peter Fallon, Brian Friel, Anthony Hecht, Ted Hughes, Michael Longley, Medbh McGuckian, Paul Muldoon, and James Simmons. Literary manuscripts include a small group of poems and prose written by Heaney and many manuscripts sent to him by other literary figures and by aspiring writers. Printed material, either written by or about Seamus Heaney is present as are other printed items collected by him. Small groups of subject files, audiovisual material, and personal papers are included as well as a large group of photographs from 1951-2003.

Arrangement Note

Organized into eight series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Writings by others, (3) Printed material, (4) Subject files, (5) Photographs, (6) Audiovisual material, (7) Personal papers, and (8) Writings by Seamus Heaney.


Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms

Occupation


Description of Series

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