Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

Death of a Naturalist at 50 - Seamus Heaney in Print, 1966-2016

Death of a Naturalist at 50: Seamus Heaney in Print, 1966-2016

Exhibition now open in the Long Room (and free to Trinity students and staff)

May 2016 is the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Death of a Naturalist, Seamus Heaney’s first collection of poetry. To mark this occasion a new exhibition in the Long Room, featuring items from the Library’s collections of newspapers, periodicals, and modern Irish writing, traces the origins and revisits the immediate contexts of Death of a Naturalist. In these publications we find a young poet testing his voice in prose as well as poetry, being represented differently by editors on both sides of the Irish Sea, and facing the obligation to respond to impending crisis in the years and months leading up to the Troubles. From the Queen’s Festival pamphlets to an anthology of Commonwealth poetry, and from the Kilkenny Magazine to Vogue, here is Heaney beginning his life in print.

With special thanks to Anna D’Alton, Clár Ní Cheallaigh, Megan Oliver, and Virginie Trachsler, who followed the Sophister option Heaney and his Contexts in Hilary 2016, and have been centrally involved in putting this exhibition together; and to Dr Lydia Ferguson and her colleagues in Early Printed Books.