Major poets unite to honour Heaney

Belfast event to mark 10th anniversary of Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s

Michael Longley with Seamus Heaney at his 70th birthday celebration at Queen’s University Belfast. Longley is to take part in a conference to mark what would have been Heaney’s 75th birthday next month. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Michael Longley with Seamus Heaney at his 70th birthday celebration at Queen’s University Belfast. Longley is to take part in a conference to mark what would have been Heaney’s 75th birthday next month. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Tue, Mar 18, 2014, 16:28

“I rhyme/ To see myself, to set the darkness echoing” wrote Seamus Heaney in his early poem Personal Helicon . Since Heaney’s death, his poetry has been echoing with ever more resonance, and the multitudes of his readers around the world have been remembering how that poetry has affected and continues to affect them.

On the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast, and to coincide with what would have been Heaney’s 75th birthday, poets, critics, teachers and friends will gather to celebrate the life and work of the Nobel Laureate from April 10th-13th.

Major public poetry readings at the Ulster Hall and the Lyric Theatre will feature some of the leading poets in these islands, including the British Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Ireland Professor of Poetry Paula Meehan, and the Belfast Poet Laureate, Sinéad Morrissey, reading both Heaney’s work and their own. Other poets taking part include Paul Durcan, Leontia Flynn, Nick Laird, Michael Longley, Peter McDonald, Don Paterson, and David Wheatley; and those taught by Seamus Heaney at Queen’s: Ciaran Carson, director of the Heaney Centre, Pulitzer prize-winner Paul Muldoon, and Medbh McGuckian. There will also be lectures and papers on many aspects of his achievement.

There will be a public reading in the Ulster Hall, on Thursday April 10th, at 8pm, with Carol Ann Duffy, Paula Meehan, Peter McDonald, Don Paterson and Sinéad Morrissey. To book tickets, at £3 each, go to belfastcity.gov.uk/events

Paul Durcan, Gerald Dawe, Medbh McGuckian and Michael Longley will read at the Lyric Theatre on Sunday, April 13th, at 8pm. To book tickets, at £3 each, visit lyrictheatre.co.uk

Belfast City Hall hosts an evening of poetry and music with Ciaran and Deirdre Carson; Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin (songs), Zoe Conway (fiddle) and John McIntyre (guitar); and Sinéad Morrissey, on Friday, April 11th. On Saturday, April 12th, Paul Muldoon, Leontia Flynn, David Wheatley and Nick Laird will read from their own work and their favourite poems by Seamus Heaney.

To register for Seamus Heaney: a Conference and Commemoration, visit go.qub.ac.uk/heaneyconference