Seamus Heaney’s passing in 2013 robbed the literary world of one of its most profound and learned voices. Born in 1939 in Northern Ireland, Heaney began publishing poetry whilst lecturing in Belfast in the 1960s, later moving to Dublin where he resided under his death.
Beginning with his first major published work, the 1966 collection Death of a Naturalist, Heaney evolved to be a poet of incredible range and versatility, fusing both an uncanny ear for language with a novelist’s drive for narrative. Winning the Whitbread Book of the Year Award twice (initially in 1996 for The Spirit Level, then again in 1999 for Beowulf: A New Translation) and claiming the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 confirmed Heaney as the pre-eminent poet of his generation. This triumph was underlined in 2006 with his win of the T.S. Eliot Prize for the collection District and Circle.