21 December 2013
Seamus Heaney, among the most distinguished and best-loved poets working in the English language, died on the 30 August 2013. The University of Oxford will celebrate his life and work with an event to be held in the Sheldonian Theatre on the evening of 2 February 2014.
The Oxford Tribute to Seamus Heaney will feature works by the poet chosen and read by Oxford poets and scholars, including two of his successors as Professor of Poetry, James Fenton and Christopher Ricks, and the present holder of that Chair, Geoffrey Hill. A further 15 readers will choose poems of particular personal interest. The event will be introduced by Hermione Lee, President of Wolfson College, Oxford.
The tribute, jointly organised by the University of Oxford’s English Faculty and Bodleian Libraries, celebrates the poet’s many connections with the city and the University and the remarkable impact his work has had upon readers of poetry.
Seamus Perry, chair of the English Faculty, comments: ‘Seamus Heaney was a remarkable Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1989 to 1994, during which time he gave the lectures that would form The Redress of Poetry, one of his most profound meditations on the poet's art. The English Faculty was honoured to count him among our number, and we are honoured, too, to take part in this celebration of his life and writings.'
Interim Bodley’s Librarian, Richard Ovenden adds: ‘We are proud to have counted Seamus Heaney as a close friend and collaborator. One of only 15 recipients of the Bodley Medal, Seamus was a frequent visitor to the Bodleian, and read memorably at the launch of the literary journal Archipelago in the library. The Bodleian Libraries are pleased to be co-organising this celebration of his life and work, which was so intimately connected with Oxford.’
The event has been generously sponsored by the Old Possum’s Trust. Thanks are also due to the British Academy, the Vice Chancellor’s Office, the English Faculty, the Sheldonian Theatre, and Balliol, Hertford, Magdalen, Wadham, and St John’s Colleges for supporting the event organisation.
Unfortunately, tickets for this event are now sold out.