by Trevor Williams | February 19, 2014
Courtesy of Emory photo/video
An exhibition honoring the life and work of the late Irish poet Seamus Heaney opened Saturday, Feb. 22, at Emory University, which holds in its archives many rare items from his much-lauded career.
"Seamus Heaney: The Music of What Happens" is the first public display of his work since his passing, having been planned before his death on Aug. 30 last year but reworked as a tribute to the Nobel Prize winner.
The space is divided into four distinct areas, one being an audio area where visitors can listen to recordings of Mr. Heaney and others reading his poetry. His writing process is also in the spotlight, with physical drafts of his most widely read poems mixed with iPads showing images of illustrated books and a magnetic board where visitors can compose their own poems.
Other items on display include correspondence with other writers, the two-planked surface of his old makeshift writing desk and old photographs. A large white kite will hang in the center of the exhibition, providing “a poignant connection” for Emory, according to organizers. “A Kite for Aibhín,” written for his second grandchild, was the last poem Mr. Heaney read at Emory in during his final visit to the campus in March 2013.
His connection with Emory dates back to 1981, when he visited the university to read his poetry for the first time. He returned for a lecture in 1988 and donated his notes to Emory’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, which now holds poems and drafts showing handwritten revisions, as well as rare artists’ books featuring his poetry.
A public celebration was held at the Robert W. Woodruff Library, which is hosting the exhibition through Nov. 25.
For more on the exhibition, click here.