Selected Prose 1971-2001
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374154967, 464pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 2002
Whether autobiographical, topical, or specifically literary, these writings circle the central preoccupying questions of Seamus Heaney's career: "How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to be to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage and the contemporary world?"
Along with a selection from the poet's three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue, and The Redress of Poetry), the present volume includes Heaney's finest lectures and a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in volume form, ranging from short newspaper articles to radio commentaries. In its soundings of a wide range of poets -- Irish and British, American and Eastern European, predecessors and contemporaries -- Finders Keepers is, as its title indicates, "an announcement of both excitement and possession."
Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His poems, plays, translations, and essays include Opened Ground, Electric Light, Beowulf, The Spirit Level, District and Circle, and Finders Keepers. Robert Lowell praised Heaney as the "most important Irish poet since Yeats."
"A brimming metaphoric energy . . a buoyant vivacity of description . . . reflective humor . . . and an imaginative penetration . . . unequalled in contemporary critical prose." --Helen Vendler, The New Yorker
Seamus Heaney's best prose of the last three decades -- work "as life-enhancing . . . as the poems it celebrates." --Andrew Motion, The Observer [London]