While studying in university, Seamus Heaney found a copy of Ted Hughes' Lupercal, and he later said, "Suddenly, the matter of contemporary poetry was the material of my own life."
Beginning with a Somerset Maugham Award for his 1966 poetry collection, Death of a Naturalist, Heaney went on to win many awards, including the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature. Since, Heaney has continued to garner praise for his works including two Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year awards and the 2006 T. S. Eliot Prize for District and Circle.
Currently living in Dublin, Seamus Heaney leans heavily on his Northern Ireland upbringing for inspiration. Rarely overtly political, on the surface his poems observe the small details of the everyday, of history and of family. However, in 1982, he politely objected to his inclusion in the Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry by writing, "Be advised, my passport's green / No glass of ours was ever raised / To toast the Queen."
More of our favorite Irish imports