Group Sheets

At each of its meetings, the Belfast Group read drafts of poetry, short stories, or other prose works of its members. To facilitate the discussion, Philip Hobsbaum—with the assistance of Cilla Craig, the secretary in the English Department at Queen’s University, Belfast, or his wife Hannah—prepared typed copies of the drafts that would be discussed. These “Group sheets,” as they are now known, were distributed to Group members prior to meetings.

There are ninety-four distinct Group sheets in the collections of Queen’s and Emory University. An additional Group sheet is in private hands. The list below details the contents of individual Group sheets, including the author and the names of the works that appeared in draft form. A selection of these Group sheets have been made available as digital editions and provide a window into the process of writing and re-writing poetry.

The Group sheets have been organized into two broad time periods, corresponding to when Hobsbaum was with the Group (1963–March 1966) and after he left (1966–1972). Most of the Group sheets are undated, but some include handwritten dates, times, and places. Absent that information, we have assumed that undated sheets in Hobsbaum’s papers are from the Group’s first time period and that undated sheets from other collections are from the second period.

A note about capitalization: our data is drawn directly from the catalogues at Queen’s and Emory. Since rules for title capitalization differ between the UK and the US, the formatting of each Group sheet reflects where it is catalogued.

Displaying 12 Group sheets.

  • Heaney, Seamus. “A Lough Neagh Sequence,” no date.

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  • Heaney, Seamus. “At Ardboe Point,” “Good-Night,” “The Crowing Man,” “Shore Woman,” “Yank,” “A Winter's Tale,” no date.

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  • Heaney, Seamus. “Boy Driving His Father to Confession,” “To a Wine Jar,” “On Hogarth's Engraving "Pit Ticket for the Royal Sport",” “Synge on Aran,” “Blackberry-Picking,” “Saint Francis and the Birds,” “At a Potato Digging,” no date, three pages.

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    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.

  • Heaney, Seamus; Kennelly, Brendan; Longley, Michael. “Death of a Naturalist,” “Lovers on Aran,” “Follower,” “Elegy for a Still-Born Child,” “Personal Helicon,” “Antaeus,” “The After-Child,” “The Blind Man,” “Marlowe,” “The Good,” “Light Dying,” “The Dummies,” “The Osprey,” “The Hebrides,” “Elegy for Fats Waller,” “Dr Johnson Dying,” “Gathering Mushrooms,” “Persephone,” no date.

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  • Heaney, Seamus. “Digging,” “Death of a Naturalist,” “Storm on the Island,” “Soliloquy for an Old Resident,” “Writer and Teacher,” “Young Bachelor,” “Scaffolding,” no date, two pages.

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    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.

  • Heaney, Seamus. “Docker,” “An advancement of learning,” “Fisher,” “Amputation,” “National trust,” “A Cistercian speaks,” no date, two pages.

    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.

  • Heaney, Seamus. “Elegy for an Unborn Child,” “Triptych for the Easter Battlers,” “Homage to Pieter Brueghel,” “Persephone,” “Rookery,” “Requiem for the Irish Rebels,” “The Peninsula,” “Orange Drums, Tyrone 1966,” no date, two pages.

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    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.

  • Heaney, Seamus. “Icon,” “Limbo,” “Wedding Day,” “The Last Mummer,” “High Street, Belfast, 1786,” “Tweed,” “Dawn,” “Bye-Child,” no date.

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    Source: Seamus Deane papers 1960-2016 .

  • Heaney, Seamus. “Oh Brave New Bull . . .,” “Mid-Term Break,” “A Pillar of the Community,” “MacKenna's Saturday Night,” “Turkeys Observed,” “The Indomitable Irishry,” “Obituary,” no date, two pages.

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    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6; James Simmons papers, 1945-1996 .

  • Heaney, Seamus. “Servant Boy,” “The Last Mummer,” “Gifts of Rain,” “The Tollund Man,” “Westering,” 08 Nov 1971.

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    Source: James Simmons papers, 1945-1996 ; Frank Ormsby papers, circa 1967-2012 .

  • Heaney, Seamus. “Taking Stock: 5/4/'64,” “Twice Shy,” “The Early Purges,” “In Glenelly Valley,” “Ex-Champ,” “The Evangelist,” “Men's Confessions,” no date, two pages.

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    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6; James Simmons papers, 1945-1996 .

  • Heaney, Seamus. “The Diviner,” “Gravities,” “Ancestral Photograph,” “For the Commander of "The Eliza",” “Personal Helicon,” “Girls Bathing, Galway 1965,” “The Salmon Fisher to the Salmon,” no date.

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    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.