Seamus Heaney Memorial Lecture: Heaney, Place, and Property


Location: Rare Books and Special Collections, Hesburgh Library

Christopher Morash, Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin presents the second annual Seamus Heaney Memorial Lecture.

“It has long been recognised—since at least Heaney’s own early lecture “The Sense of Place”—that Seamus Heaney’s poetry has carried out a series of complex negotiations with place: places of writing, places of memory, places of being. It may be simply stated that Heaney’s poetry and thought are grounded in place, but not in any simple way. “The places I go back to have not failed,” he writes in “Squarings xli” from Seeing Things (1991), “but will not last.”

The 2015 Seamus Heaney Memorial Lecture will bring together what at first might seem to be two very different areas of concern: some of the philosophical considerations of place, particularly as it takes shape in the late work of Heidegger, and the recent economic crisis of property value in Ireland. In the end, we will ask: what does it mean to be a poet of place in a crisis of property value? It may be that this conjunction will provide us with one explanation as to why Heaney’s poetry continues to have such extraordinary force in contemporary Irish culture.”

Sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies.