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The Poetry and Prose of Seamus Heaney

1. Crediting Poetry

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About this Lecture


In this course, Rosie discusses Heaney's Nobel Prize acceptance speech, which was entitled 'Crediting Poetry'. Rosie draws connections between the speech and his poem 'Fosterling' (1991), explores the concept of 'difference' in Heaney's thought, as well as the 'wideness of language'. Rosie finishes by exploring Heaney's thoughts on the role of the poet in society, especially against the background of the Troubles.


The American poet Robert Lowell described Seamus Heaney as the greatest Irish poet since W. B. Yeats, and many noted the coincidence that Heaney was born in the year that Yeats died. A Nobel prize winner and Ireland's unofficial national poet until his death in 2013, Heaney is probably most well-known for his poem 'Digging'. In this course, we look beyond 'Digging' to Heaney's other works, his prose, his poetry, and his translations.


After reading English at St Anne’s College, Oxford, Rosie trained as a journalist at City University, London. She worked on the business desk at The Times for two years, as a media assistant to a London MEP during the European elections in 2009, and for House of Lords Hansard. She returned to Oxford for postgraduate study in 2010 and completed her doctorate, ‘Seamus Heaney and Society, 1964 – 1994’, in 2014. She held stipendiary lectureships in English at St Hugh’s and St Anne’s Colleges in 2014-15, before joining the School of English at Trinity College, Dublin in September 2015.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Lavan, R. (2018, August 15). The Poetry and Prose of Seamus Heaney - Crediting Poetry [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Lavan, R. "The Poetry and Prose of Seamus Heaney – Crediting Poetry." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,