Seamus Heaney – Nobel prize-winning poet

Seamus Heaney

Born #OTD in Co. Derry in 1939, Seamus Heaney forged a remarkable career as a poet and academic and was probably during his lifetime the best known poet in the world.

Heaney grew up in the small village of Belaghy and won a scholarship to study at St Columb’s College in Derry and later attended Queen’s University in Belfast. He became a teacher and lecturer teaching first at St Joseph’s College in Belfast and then at his old college, Queen’s.

He began writing poetry early on and became published in the 1960s. He moved to Dublin in 1976 and was poet in residence at Harvard University in Boston from 1988 to 1996. From 1989 to 1994 Heaney was Professor of Poetry at Oxford University and in 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Among his best known poems are ‘Death of a Naturalist’, ‘Field Work’, ‘Station Island’ and ‘The Spirit Level’. He was also a translator, notably translating Beowulf in 1999. Heaney died in Dublin in 2013 at the age of 74.

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