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Grant number like: FB-56142-12

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Henry Hart
College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA 23186-0002)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2012 – 6/30/2013

Irish Poet Seamus Heaney (b. 1939): A Critical Biography

I am currently writing a critical biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney. Although numerous scholarly books exist about Heaney, there is no substantial biography. Over the past three years, I have completed research at the Special Collections library at Emory University, which purchased over 50 linear feet of Heaney's letters and manuscripts. I have also corresponded with a number of his friends and former teachers and colleagues in Ireland, England, and the U.S. My book focuses on the way Heaney has addressed socio-political conflicts in Northern Ireland--the country where he grew up--and how he has worked, both in his life and in his writing, to reconcile violently opposed factions. I explain how he has conferred universal significance on the themes of conflict and reconciliation by representing his region with great poetic skill. So far I have written 440 pages of a rough draft that covers Heaney's career up to 1990.