Seamus Heaney (b. 1939)
A selective list of literary criticism for 20th-century Irish poet Seamus Heaney, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles published in peer-reviewed sources
"Seamus Heaney." Poetry Archive. Directors, Andrew Motion & Richard Carrington.
"Seamus Heaney." A brief biography. Academy of American Poets.
Sleigh, Tom. "Frank Bidart, Robert Pinsky, Seamus Heaney." On the religious impulse in Bidard, Pinsky, and Heaney's poetry. Academy of American Poets.
An introduction to Seamus Heaney from the educational publisher Cengage.
Matthews, Steven. "Seamus Heaney." A substantial introduction to Heaney, Literary Encyclopedia, 20 September 2002. Eds. Robert Clark, Emory Elliott, Janet Todd. An introduction to the poet, from a database that provides signed literary criticism by experts in their field, and is available to individuals for a reasonably-priced subscription. On Eleven Poems (1965) [subscription service].
Corcoran, Neil. "The state we're in." Seamus Heaney reworks Sophocles' struggle between principle and pragmatism to great effect in The Burial at Thebes, says Neil Corcoran. The Guardian, 1 May, 2004.
Heaney, Seamus. "Influences: The power of T. S. Eliot." Heaney writes about the impact of T.S. Eliot on poetry in the 1950s. The Boston Review, 1989.
Hobsbaum, Philip. An interview with the British "outsider" Philip Hobsbaum who in 1963 organized The Group in Belfast.
Longley, Edna. Poetry and the Peace Process. An interview with Edna Longley. "Books and Writing," on Radio National, 7/24/05.
McDonald, Peter. A review of Heaney's Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001. Poetry Review.
McDonald, Peter. Chapter 1 of Mistaken Identities: Poetry and Northern Ireland (Oxford UP 1997) First chapter from a standard work, covers Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, and Paul Muldoon among others.
OBrien, Eugene. "At the Frontier of Language." "This paper will demonstrate how the linguistics of poetry can be successfully interrogated by the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, and will go on to show how this deconstruction becomes operative in terms of analysing the political situation in Northern Ireland." Minerva (internet journal) 1 (1996).
Paulin, Tom. "The Influence of Robert Frost on Irish Poetry." On Robert Frost's effect on vernacular in Irish poetry; how Seamus Heany and Paul Muldoon first encountered Frost's writing; Frost's presence in their work. Columbia U Seminar in Irish Studies, 6 Dec. 2002.
Pellegrino, Joe. Seamus Heaney's Proleptic Elegies. Kentucky Philological Review 13 (1998).
Tracey, Robert. Tracey briefly defends Heaney against a charge of "verbal affectations" and explicates some sources of Heaney's language and imagery. "Heaney's 'Tollund Man,' and similar poems in North, are partly based on his reading of The Bog People by the Danish archaeologist, P. Glob, a book Heaney has often mentioned in interviews." NYRB letter, 5/15/80.
Triggs, Jeffery Alan. "Hurt into Poetry: The Political Verses of Seamus Heaney and Robert Bly." The New Orleans Review 19 (1992).
Vendler, Helen. Publisher's blurb for Helen Vendler's study of Heaney, Seamus Heaney, (Harvard UP 1998).
Review of Electric Light by Seamus Heaney (Faber) by Casterton, Julie, in Ambit 165 (2001).
On the Mead Bench. Review of Seamus Heaney: Beowulf. London: Faber by Nick Gammage in Thumbscrew 15 (Winter/Spring 2000).
Shaking the dust bag. On The School Bag, edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes (Faber). By Smith, Laurie. Magma 10 (Summer 1997).
Cultural Context, Study Guides, Libraries
Conflict and Politics in Northern Ireland 1968-Present. Information and source material on 'the Troubles' and politics in Northern Ireland.
An article on the Bog People, helpful for explaining many of the references in Heaney's poems. Includes pictures of Tollund Man and Grauballe Man.
A web site on peatlands in Northern Ireland "Our peatlands are a history book. Peat is renowned for preserving the organic and inorganic remains of settlements, including tombs, farms, trackways, implements and bog bodies." UK Environment and Heritage Service.
Details on the Belfast Group provided by Emory U, which now owns many original Group sheets. Includes an overview of the Group's history and a catalog of the sheets.
The International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures an actively maintained site that contains a wealth of information and news on exhibitions, journals, conferences, and more.
A lesson plan for some poems by Seamus Heaney aimed at high school students, from the BBC.
Moore, Andrew. A study guide for Seamus Heaney contains 2-3 paragraph discussions of the following poems: Storm on the Island, Perch, Blackberry-Picking, Death of a Naturalist, Digging, Follower, At a Potato Digging. Discussion questions for students.
On the acquisition of Seamus Heaney papers at Emory U.
On the acquisition of the Leonard L. Milberg '53 Collection of Irish Poetry by Princeton. Press release 4/10/98.
1998-2010 by Jan Pridmore