- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Seamus Heaney, the Irish poet who won a Nobel Prize in 1995, has died. He was 74-years-old.
According to The New York Times, Heaney’s family issued a short statement that only noted that he died from an illness at his Dublin home on Friday. He was born on April 13, 1939 in the western part of Northern Ireland and studied English at Queen’s University in Belfast.
Heaney’s work gained him attention far beyond the world of poetry and literature. Even actor Liam Neeson mourned the loss, saying in a statement to the BBC, “With Seamus Heaney's passing, Ireland, and Northern Ireland especially, has lost a part of its artistic soul.”
The actor praised Heaney’s work, adding, “He crafted, through his poetry, who we are as a species and the living soil that we toiled in. By doing so, he defined our place in the universe. May he rest in peace.”
The Times notes that he was a rare poet whose work was actually bought by the public at large and was considered among the most widely read in his field. His work was praised for its accessibility for the average reader.
Irish prime minister Enda Kenny said he “belongs with Joyce, Yeats, Shaw and Beckett in the pantheon of our greatest literary exponents.”
Heaney published from 1966 to 2010 and his first collection was titled Digging. He often touched on the political strife in Northern Ireland, covering the topic in 1975’s North.
Heaney is survived by his wife Marie and three children.
image: Wikimedia Commons