Seamus Heaney (1939-2013): An Irish poet and Nobel Prize Winner Remembered for his Mentoring Legacy

Seamus_HeaneyThroughout his career, Seamus Heaney was a conscientious and inspiring teacher. He held teaching positions at Queen’s University Belfast, Carysfort College, Harvard University, U.C. Berkeley, and Oxford University. In addition to giving lectures all over the world, Mr. Heaney mentored now famous Irish poets, including Paul Muldoon (who said of his mentor: “he helped all of us develop our imaginative powers”), Ciaran Carson, and Medbh McGuckian. Known for his gentle, respectful personality and encouraging manner, it is no surprise that Heaney maintained lifelong friendships with many poets and students of all ages. Heaney was also a teacher to the countless readers who never met him but read his prose. Heaney’s own mentor was writer Thomas Flanagan (1923-2002), about whom he once said, “If I did something that was quick Tom would say, you’re better than that Seamus.”

Seamus Haney’s last words to his wife, were “Don’t be afraid.”

(Thanks to @UlfKirchdorfer for providing this tribute.)