HEANEY, Seamus. A Lough Neagh Sequence.
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Manchester: Phoenix Pamphlet Poets Press, 1969. Crown octavo. First edition. pp. 12. Original white stapled wrappers printed in black, monochrome photo-portrait of Heaney on rear cover. One of 950 copies (from an edition of 1,000 copies). A fine copy. Brandes & Durkan A4b. Privately published for Heaney by Manchester bookseller, Eric Morten. Heaney’s third book of poetry.
Seamus Heaney (1939-2013), poet, essayist and playwright, born in County Derry and brought up on a small farm between Toomebridge and Castledawson. After graduation from Queen’s University, Belfast he taught for a year at St. Thomas’s Intermediate School in Belfast, where Michael MacLaverty, the headmaster, encouraged his writing; he then became a lecturer at St. Joseph’s Teacher Training College. While there he participated in the poetry group organised by Philip Hobsbaum at QUB, where he was appointed to the English Department in 1966. Among his best-known works is Death of a Naturalist (1966), his first major published volume. Heaney was and is still recognised as one of the principal contributors to poetry in Ireland during his lifetime. American poet Robert Lowell described him as “the most important Irish poet since Yeats”, and many others, including the academic John Sutherland, have said that he was “the greatest poet of our age”. Robert Pinsky has stated that “with his wonderful gift of eye and ear Heaney has the gift of the story-teller.” Upon his death in 2013, The Independent described him as “probably the best-known poet in the world”.
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