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A Big Life

Michael Hofmann: Seamus Heaney, 4 June 2015

New Selected Poems 1988-2013 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 222 pp., £18.99, November 2014, 978 0 571 32171 1
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... it lived in public, but never for a public or the public; rather, a great adventure: ‘Well, as Kavanagh said, we have lived/In important places’ (‘The Ministry of Fear’). It is a sobering thing to read O’Driscoll’s ten-page chronology of Heaney’s life (up to 2008): the meetings with famous men, the travel, the lectures and prizes and ...

The Party and the Army

Ronan Bennett, 21 March 1996

... extensive surgery on his back. Since the ceasefire three other IRA lifers – Pat Magee, Paul Kavanagh and Tommy Quigley – have been informed that their tariffs have been raised to 50 years, a decision now being challenged in the courts. Republicans bitterly contrast the treatment of IRA prisoners with that of the paratrooper Lee Clegg, released after ...

A Bit Like Gulliver

Stephanie Burt: Seamus Heaney’s Seamus Heaney, 11 June 2009

Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney 
by Dennis O’Driscoll.
Faber, 524 pp., £22.50, November 2008, 978 0 571 24252 8
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The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney 
edited by Bernard O’Donoghue.
Cambridge, 239 pp., £45, December 2008, 978 0 521 54755 0
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... I had roamed a bit, both geographically and poetically; travelled in the realms not only of Kavanagh and Hughes, but of Olson and Williams, Snyder and Bly. I was freed up,’ he says, much as Donald Davie was freed up by his own move to California. (Heaney praises Essex Poems, begun before Davie left Britain, but published, and perhaps ...

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