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Posts Tagged ‘Seamus Heaney’

Seamus Heaney Has Died

Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney has passed away. He was 74.

Follow the links below to read free poems by Heaney from the Poetry Foundation. Here’s more about his early life from the Nobel Prize site:

The poet’s mother came from a family called McCann whose connections were more with the modern world than with the traditional rural economy; her uncles and relations were employed in the local linen mill and an aunt had worked “in service” to the mill owners’ family. The poet has commented on the fact that his parentage thus contains both the Ireland of the cattle-herding Gaelic past and the Ulster of the Industrial Revolution; indeed, he considers this to have been a significant tension in his background, something which corresponds to another inner tension also inherited from his parents, namely that between speech and silence. His father was notably sparing of talk and his mother notably ready to speak out, a circumstance which Seamus Heaney believes to have been fundamental to the “quarrel with himself” out of which his poetry arises.

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World Book Night to Give Away One Million Books

On March 5, 2011, 20,000 givers will help donate one million books to U.K. readers for World Book Night.

Jamie Byng, Canongate Books managing director and World Book Night committee chairman, conceived the event back in 2009. A group of booksellers, librarians, authors, broadcasters and others have chosen a list of 25 books to give away (the complete list follows below). Only 20,000 people will be invited to give away books for the program. Prospective givers have until January 4th to sign up–they can go to the World Book Night website and explain in 100 words or less why they want to participate.

John Le Carré‘s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold made the cut, and he had this statement: “No writer can ask more than this: that his book should be handed in thousands to people who might otherwise never get to read it, and who will in turn hand it to thousands more. That his book should also pass from one generation to another as a story to challenge and excite each reader in his time–that is beyond his most ambitious dreams.”

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Ted Hughes’ Reaction to Sylvia Plath’s Suicide Revealed in New Poem

A newly released poem written by Ted Hughes directly addresses the writer’s reaction to the suicide of his first wife, Sylvia Plath.

After securing permission from Hughes’ widow Carol, The New Statesman published the piece entitled Last Letter. British actor Jonathan Pryce reads from the poem in the BBC video embedded above.

Normally, Hughes’ process to “complete” the writing of a poem was to type the finalized version. Several draft versions of Last Letter were found in Hughes’ handwritten notebooks. The earliest draft of the poem is contained in a blue exercise book now owned by the British Library’s Ted Hughes archive.
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