Originally created 09/25/03

Poet Heaney donates papers to Emory



ATLANTA -- Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, considered Ireland's greatest living poet, will donate thousands of literary papers and letters to Emory University.

The donation, which Heaney announced before a reading Tuesday night at the school, will make Emory the largest archive for the study of the poet's work.

He credited recently retired Emory President William M. Chace with his decision to add his papers to the university's existing archive on Irish writers.

"Even though President Chace is departing, as long as my papers stay here, they will be a memorial to the work he has done to extend the university's resources and strengthen its purpose," Heaney said.

The papers span Heaney's career from 1964, and include his correspondence with writers Brian Friel, Anthony Hecht, Ted Hughes, Robert Lowell and others.

Heaney's anthologies include "North" (1975) and "Field Work" (1979), which explored the horrors of Northern Ireland sectarian violence.

Since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, he has continued to alternate writing with teaching as a guest lecturer at several universities, including Emory.