A Holding Field: Seamus Heaney and Translation

The Home Place, Bellaghy: Saturday 8 February, 2:00 pm 

From early in his career, Seamus Heaney recognised the importance of translation in extending the reach of his work. By interacting with and promoting great writing from other cultures, he energised his own and discovered new ways of addressing the complex obligations he faced as both writer and citizen. In short, it became a way of bringing pleasures and pressures together ‘into one drama, one holding field’.


Interspersed with music and interviews on film with celebrated academics Declan Kiberd, Heather O’Donoghue and Rachel Falconer, A Holding Field consists of readings and short commentaries. It brings together fine examples of Heaney’s re-workings from Greek, Latin, Irish, Anglo-Saxon, Polish and Italian originals. 


A Holding Field is presented by Michael Parker (Oxford University, Department of Continuing Education), Esther Armstrong (University of the Arts, London) and Stephen Regan (Durham University). This is a revised version of an event first performed at the National Library of Ireland in September 2018.