Nobel-Prize Winning Irish Poet Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013

Seamus-heaney (1)Seamus Heaney, one of the world's best-known poets, who won the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature, died in Dublin this morning at the age of 74. His death, following a short illness, was announced by the Irish Times.

Heaney was the author of over 20 volumes of poetry and criticism, and edited several anthologies. Widely regarded as the most important Irish poet since fellow Nobel-laureate W.B. Yeats, the Nobel Prize committee cited Heaney's "works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past."

Born and raised in County Derry, in Northern Ireland, Heaney later lived in Dublin and taught for many years at Harvard University at Oxford. His work was closely tied to the Irish landscape and Irish politics, beginning with his first book, Death of a Naturalist (1966). As a Catholic in Protestant Northern Ireland, Heaney wrote often about the "Troubles," and once described himself in the New York Times Book Review as someone who "emerged from a hidden, a buried life and entered the realm of education."

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