Faber to release Seamus Heaney’s 100 best poems

Faber to release Seamus Heaney’s 100 best poems

Faber & Faber is to publish a new selection of Seamus Heaney’s best-loved poems to coincide with the opening of a "major" new exhibition in Ireland.

The exhibition, Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again, will draw on the National Library of Ireland’s extensive archive of Heaney manuscripts and will go on display at the new Cultural and Heritage Centre within Bank of Ireland’s College Green complex in Dublin, in Summer 2018.

Heaney had the idea of forming a personal selection of poems from across the entire arc of his writing life, small yet comprehensive enough to serve as an introduction for all comers. He never managed to do this himself, and no other edition exists which has such a broad range, drawing from first to last of his prize-winning collections. 

100 Poems will feature some of Heaney's most loved and celebrated poems, as well as some new ones, chosen and introduced by the Heaney family. 

"It is a singular and welcoming anthology, reaching out far and wide, now and for years to come", said the publisher.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Catherine Heaney said that choosing the poems for the book was a "very special and poignant process" for the family.

"Rereading my father’s twelve original volumes – from Death of a Naturalist to Human Chain – and selecting our favourites gave us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the work again, hear his voice and remember moments from our shared past", she said. "We each had our particular choices, and keeping to one hundred sometimes felt like a challenge, but we hope that the resulting book reflects my father’s life’s work in all its breadth and that every reader will find something here to enjoy."

Faber poetry editor Matthew Hollis added: "With Seamus Heaney’s passing, his hope for a brief, singular selection of his work seemed destined to go unfulfilled; it is with particular resonance, then, that his family should now feel able to take up the task on his behalf. Reading the work in this powerfully concentrated form is to deliver yourself into the hands of a true expert: a learned, kindly and flawless guide, a companion in and out of the marvellous. It is the work of six decades, but the writing of an era."

Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again, is a National Library of Ireland exhibition at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, College Green, Dublin. The exhibition is curated by Professor Geraldine Higgins, working closely with the Heaney family, and supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and by the Bank of Ireland. It will draw on the National Library’s extensive archive of Heaney documents and will feature Heaney’s original manuscripts, as well as letters, unpublished works, diary entries, photographs, notebooks and multi-media recordings.

Seamus Heaney’s 100 Poems will be published on 28th June 2018.