For poetic works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past
Raised in a thatched farmstead in County Derry, Ireland, Heaney studied as a “scholarship boy,” as his father called him, at Queens University in Belfast, where he began to write poems. In 1966 his collection Death of a Naturalist was published. In the nine volumes since, he has treated subjects ranging from farmwork to politics to the beauty of the Irish language. “I rhyme / to see myself, to set the darkness echoing.” Heaney was the Ralph Waldo Emerson Poet in Residence from 1995 to 2006.