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Irish poet Seamus Heaney dies at 74

Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)

Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)

World-renowned poet and playwright Seamus Heaney has died at the age of 74. Heaney died in Dublin, Ireland, after a short illness, the publishing house Faber & Faber announced on behalf of his family. Mr. Heaney was hospitalized after a fall on Thursday. Mr. Heaney had suffered a stroke in 2006. He was born to a farming family at Mossbawn near Bellaghy in Co Derry on 13 April 1939.

Seamus Heaney poses with the Nobel Prize for Literature he received from Sweden’s King Carl Gustav XVI in December 1995.

Mr Heaney was educated at the St Columb’s College Catholic boarding school in Derry. He later studied at Queen’s University Belfast, before making his home in Dublin, with periods of teaching in the United States.

Seamus Heaney’s poetry first came to public attention in the mid-1960s with his first major collection, Death Of A Naturalist, published in 1966. Other collections included: Door into the Dark (1969), Wintering Out (1972), North (1975), Field Work (1979), Station Island (1984), The Haw Lantern (1987), Seeing Things (1991), The Spirit Level (1996), Electric Light (2001) and District and Circle (2006).

Among the academic posts he held were professorships at Harvard and Oxford universities. Mr Heaney was an honorary fellow at Trinity College Dublin and last year was bestowed with the Seamus Heaney Professorship in Irish Writing at the university, which he described as a great honour.

Later in life, Heaney turned to producing new translations of well-known works of Anglo-Saxon literature, including a well-received version of “Beowulf.” He worked as a professor of poetry at Oxford University for five years beginning in 1989, and held various posts at Harvard University for more than two decades.

Books of condolence are to be opened at Belfast City Hall on Monday and the Guildhall in Derry.


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