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 papers, 1951-2004)
“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.
“Digging,” “Death of a naturalist,” “Storm on the island,” “Soliloquy for an old resident,” “Writer and teacher,” “Young bachelor,” “Scaffolding,” no date, two pages.
“Docker,” “An advancement of learning,” “Fisher,” “Amputation,” “National trust,” “A Cistercian speaks,” no date, two pages.
“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.
“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.
“Taking stock: 5/4/’64,” “Twice shy,” “The early purges,” “In Glenelly valley,” “Ex-champ,” “The evangelist,” “Men’s confessions,” no date, two pages.
“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.
Force-directed ego graph of people, places, and organizations directly connected to Seamus Heaney.