The Letters of Seamus Heaney: Christopher Reid in Conversation

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To coincide with the publication of The Letters of Seamus Heaney by Faber & Faber, HomePlace is delighted to welcome the collection’s editor, poet Christopher Reid.

For all his public eminence, Seamus Heaney seems never to have lost the compelling need to write personal letters. In this ample but discriminating selection from 50 years of his correspondence, we are given access as never before to the life and poetic development of a literary titan ― from his early days in Belfast, through his decision to settle in the Republic, to the gradual broadening of horizons that culminated in the award of a Nobel Prize and the years of international acclaim that kept him heroically busy until his death. Editor Christopher Reid draws from both public and private archives to reveal this story in the poet's own words. Generous, funny, exuberant, confiding, irreverent, empathetic and deeply thoughtful, the letters encompass decades-long relationships with friends and colleagues, as well as showing an unstinted responsiveness to passing acquaintances. Moreover, Heaney's joyous mastery of language is as evident here as it is in any of his writing for a literary readership.

Christopher Reid will be in conversation about the process of collating this edition and the event will include a dramatic reading of excerpts from the letters of Seamus Heaney.