Seamus Heaney, 1968-2010 and undated
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of correspondence, poetry and prose received by Barrie Cooke and original artwork produced by him. The principal correspondents are Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Jean Valentine and John Montage, and their letters along with their poetry and prose are to be found in the archive. There is also a large series of correspondence from poets and artists resident in Ireland, the United Kingdom and America, often consisting of just 1 or 2 letters from each correspondent but showing Cooke's wide circle of friends and interests.
- 1968-2010 and undated
Conditions Governing Access
The Seamus Heaney material is open for consultation but photographs may not be taken without the permission of the Seamus Heaney Estate. Those wishing to publish any material that is the copyright of the Seamus Heaney Estate should seek permission from the Estate prior to publication. The Archivist can provide further information and contact details for the Estate.
Biographical / Historical
Born in 1939 in County Derry, in Northern Ireland, Seamus Heaney would go on to become a world-renowned poet, playwright and translator. He attended Queen’s University in Belfast, before training as a teacher at St. Joseph's Teacher Training College in Belfast. He married Marie Devlin in 1965 while he was at St. Joseph’s and they would go on to have 3 children: Michael, Christopher and Catherine. Heaney taught for several years in Belfast and was a visiting professor in English at the University of California, Berkeley for 1970-1971. The following year, in 1972, he moved to Wicklow in the Republic of Ireland, and began writing on a full-time basis. In 1976 he and his family moved to Dublin, where he would stay for the rest of his life, bar short periods in the USA. He was Boylston Professor of Rhetoric at Harvard from 1984-1995 and Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1989-1994. He received the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature and has been described as "the greatest poet of our age". Heaney was one of Cooke's closest friends, with their shared interest in lakes, water and the natural world, as well as poetry and visual art.
1.5 archive box(es)
- Collections of Seamus Heaney's papers are held at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University, Atlanta, USA; University of Liverpool Special Collections & Archives, reference GB 141 HEANEY; Queen's University Belfast Special Collections & Archives, reference GB 752 SHCDA and MS20.