Heaney’s Polish connection

The HomePlace. (submitted image).
The HomePlace. (submitted image).

Fans of the poetry of Seamus Heaney will be able to discover about his interest in Eastern European poets and poetry on April 28.

Currently a Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes University, Michael Parker will present a lecture on ‘Seamus Heaney and the Polish Connection’ in the Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy, at 2pm.

His talk will focus on the importance to Seamus Heaney of Polish poets, and, in particular how their work encouraged him to extend further the historical range and ethical depth of his own work.

Heaney’s initial interest in Eastern European poetry was stirred soon after Death of a Naturalist appeared as Zbigniew Herbert, Tadeusz Róžewicz, and Czeslaw Miłosz came to the attention of English speaking audiences.

Heaney felt a particular affinity with Miłosz as both knew periods of displacement and later lived through years of violence. In their imaginations and poems the home place and its landscapes often accrued an idyllic quality.

With readings and short film extracts, this informative lecture will include examples of how Heaney’s poems are charged with a similar moral integrity.

Michael Parker is also a part-time Tutor for Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education.

In 1993 he published Seamus Heaney: The Making of the Poet and his next major publication will be Seamus Heaney: Legacies, Afterlives, which will be published by Palmgrove Macmillan in 2019.

Admission to his forthcoming lecture at the Heaney HomePlace will be £5. To find out more or book a place, Telephone: 028 7938 7444. Details of this and other events can be found via: seamusheaneyhome.ticketsolve.com/shows/873582488.

* There’s lots more going on over the coming weeks at the HomePlace arts and literary centre which celebrates the life and literature of the late poet and Nobel Laureate. The building has a permanent interactive exhibition about the life and literature of Seamus Heaney, a performing arts space, a café and shop.