Seamus Heaney Speech, 13 July 2001

Scope and Content

The text of a speech given by Seamus Heaney on the occasion of his receiving an honorary DLitt degree at the University of Exeter. It includes in manuscript part of his Beowulf translation, and is written on the reverse side of the administrative papers dealing with the ceremony and his stay in Exeter.

Administrative / Biographical History

Seamus Heaney (b1939), poet, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in April 1939, the eldest of nine children. His father owned and worked a small farm in County Derry in Northern Ireland. At the age of twelve he won a scholarship to St. Columb's College, a Catholic boarding school situated in the city of Derry, From 1957 he lived in Belfast, moving in 1972 to the Irish Republic, where he now lives. His poems first came to public attention in the mid-1960s when he was active as one of a group of poets who were subsequently recognized as constituting something of a 'Northern School' within Irish writing. His first book, Death of a Naturalist, was published in 1966. He and his wife, Marie Devlin, have three children.In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, 'for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past'. In 2001 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Literature by the University of Exeter.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.


Description compiled by Ian Mortimer, Archivist, 19 September 2001. Hub description entered by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 9 September 2003.

Other Finding Aids

Single item.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Custodial History

Given by Mr Heaney to the University Librarian, 14 July 2001