Seamus Heaney’s literary archive to be subject of Dublin exhibition

Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney

Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney’s unpublished works, diaries and letters will be revealed at a new exhibition celebrating his life.

The show, expected to run for several years and attract global interest, will be staged at a new cultural centre in one of Dublin’s most recognisable landmarks.

The Bank of Ireland, on College Green, was formerly the Irish Houses of Parliament.

Mick Heaney, the poet’s son, said his family are delighted at the new exhibition, organised by the National Library of Ireland (NLI).

“He was extremely happy that his papers found a home at the National Library and our family is honoured at the prospect of this exhibition and the opportunity for a wider audience to enjoy and engage with his archive,” he added.

The exhibition opens next year.

It will draw on Heaney’s work as an internationally-renowned poet as well as a distinguished essayist, playwright, translator, professor, and literary critic.

It will showcase his extensive literary archive, which was donated to the NLI in 2011, two years before his death.

Original manuscripts as well as letters, unpublished works, diary entries, photographs, broadsides and multi-media recordings will also feature.

Ireland’s Arts Minister Heather Humphreys said the new Cultural and Heritage Centre will also be an exciting new visitor experience in the historic and cultural heart of Dublin.

“A section of the iconic building at College Green will be transformed and opened to the public, and will be a fantastic addition to the city’s cultural infrastructure,” she said.

“I am delighted that the first exhibition to be housed in the new centre will focus on the life and work of Seamus Heaney, who was arguably the greatest poet of his generation.

“It will offer an unparalleled opportunity to remember and honour the Nobel Prize winning poet.”