English PEN is shocked and saddened by the news of Seamus Heaney’s death.
The charity was privileged to work with Heaney for a fundraising event in support of English PEN’s work, Inspirations, in January. Heaney selected the poetry and prose that had inspired him as a writer, alongside Simon Armitage. The evening gave an insight into some of the influences on the Nobel laureate.
Seamus Heaney also kindly contributed an annotated version of his poetry collection, Death of a Naturalist, to English PEN’s ‘First Editions, Second Thoughts’ auction in May, and raised a very impressive £17,000 for the charity.
Alongside his powerful literary voice, he will be remembered for these acts of generosity.
One of the poems that Seamus Heaney selected for the Inspirations evening was Donal Og, a beautiful eighth-century Gaelic ballad, translated by Lady Augusta Gregory.