Photo by Giovanni Giovannetti
Seamus Heaney was born on April 13, 1939, in Castledawson, County
Derry, Northern Ireland. He earned a teacher's certificate in English
at St. Joseph's College in Belfast and in 1963 took a position as a
lecturer in English at that school. While at St. Joseph's he began
to write, joining a poetry workshop with Derek Mahon,
Michael Longley, and others under the guidance of Philip Hobsbaum.
In 1965 he married Marie Devlin, and the following year he published Death of a Naturalist.
Since then he has published hundreds more, in such collections as Human Chain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), District and Circle (Faber and Faber, 2006), Opened Ground (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999), which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; The Spirit Level (1996); Selected Poems 1966-1987 (1990); and Sweeney Astray (1984).
He has also written several volumes of criticism, including The Redress of Poetry (1995). Heaney's most recent translation is Beowulf (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000), which won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award.
He is also co-translator, with Stanislaw Baranczak, of Laments: Poems of Jan Kochanowski (1995), and co-author, with Joseph Brodsky and Derek Walcott, of a collection of essays entitled
Homage to Robert Frost (1996).
In June of 2012, Heaney was awarded the Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust For Excellence He is also a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and held the chair of Professor of Poetry at Oxford from
1989 to 1994. In 1995 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Heaney has been a resident of Dublin since 1976, but since 1981 he
has spent part of each year teaching at Harvard University, where in
1984 he was elected the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory.
A Selected Bibliography
Death of a Naturalist (1966)
Door into the Dark (1969)
Field Work (1979)
New Selected Poems, 1966-1987 (1990)
Poems 1965-1975 (1980)
Seeing Things (1991)
Station Island (1984)
Sweeney Astray: A Version From the Irish (1983)
The Haw Lantern (1987)
The Midnight Verdict (1993)
The Spirit Level (1996)
Wintering Out (1972)
District and Circle (2006)
Human Chain (2010)
Crediting Poetry: The Nobel Lecture (1996)
Homage to Robert Frost, with Joseph Brodsky and Derek Walcott (1996)
Preoccupations: Selected Prose, 1968-1978 (1980)
The Fire i' the Flint: Reflections on the Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1975)
The Government of the Tongue: Selected Prose 1978-1987 (1988)
The Place of Writing (1989)
The Redress of Poetry: Oxford Lectures (1995)
The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes (1991)