Seamus Heaney Homeplace hosts National Poetry Day programme of events

The Meccore String Quartet, from Poland, will be providing a musical backdrop to events at Heaney Homeplace this weekend
Staff Reporter

THE work of Seamus Heaney will be the focus of National Poetry Day celebrations at the new visitor centre bearing his name.

Seamus Heaney HomePlace opened last Thursday in Bellaghy, Co Derry, and is preparing for the upcoming National Poetry Day by hosting a weekend of events from Friday October 7 to Sunday October 9.

The late poet’s first published collection, Death of a Naturalist, is the inspiration for the programme, which also features classical music performances and appearances from two award-winning authors.

Polish ensemble The Meccore String Quartet will make no fewer than four appearances over the course of the weekend.

The sound of strings will also be heard in a relaxed mid-morning recital by the quartet, featuring Death and the Maiden, Schubert’s great testament to death and one of Heaney’s favourite works.

And the four musicians will also be central to one of the weekend’s more unusual events which takes audiences out of HomePlace and into scared space for The Play Way in four different churches, where they will hear Seamus Heaney’s poem The Play Way and TS Eliot’s The Four Quartets - both inspired by Beethoven.

Meanwhile, novelist and poet Michel Faber, whose acclaimed new poetry collection, Undying: A Love Story, confronts the loss of his wife Eva, will also be in HomePlace to discuss the challenges in translating grief into art – something Heaney himself managed in his poem Mid-Term Break, which recounts the death of his brother Christopher.

Historian and broadcaster John Bowman will also be in attendance on Saturday to discuss his new book Ireland: The Autobiography, and to delve into the Ireland that Heaney was born into in 1939.

Visit or call 028 7938 7444 for more on National Poetry Day events.

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