Seamus Heaney


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The Unterberg Poetry Center opened its 73rd season of literary events with a reading by Seamus Heaney on September 26. The video above features excerpts from the end of Heaney’s reading that night—two poems from his “Clearances” sequence, then “In the Attic” and “A Kite for Aibhín.”

Heaney first appeared at 92Y more than forty years ago, and it was a thrill to welcome him back. He was introduced by Atsuro Riley, who credited Heaney’s work for “for embodying that rare wholeness and consonance we feel in a musical chord, that habitable space made & held for us within a musical chord.” He added: “I want to credit this chord that got worked up from its root-note in Mossbawn, County Derry, in the north of Ireland. The chord in which the crucial concept of ‘home-ground’ has been given by now a full sounding: the originary, the formative, the sensory; the avian and the arboreal; the archaeological, the etymological, the mineral.”