Books by Seamus Heaney
“Seamus Heaney’s poetry is so magnificent it’s difficult to do it justice. He engaged with politics and with the violence of the Irish struggle in a complex way. He says the poet is ‘stretched between politics and transcendence.’ In Station Island he goes back to his roots to look at his communal ties, his early beliefs and the dead of his past. In the center of the Station Island sequence, the speaker is visited by ghosts, some literary, some with a personal connection to him, some of the dead who died in the violence. It’s Heaney accounting for who he is in the midst of this violent political struggle, in the midst of complex cultural currents.” Read more...
Phil Klay, Military Historians & Veteran
“The Vice President loves Irish poetry. Heaney is one of his favorites. He often quotes the last of these lines: ‘The longed-for tidal wave / Of justice can rise up / And hope and history rhyme.'” Read more...
Ronald A. Klain, Lawyer
“Field Work is about the way we exist within place, the comfort we take from place and what happens when that apparent solidity and belonging is challenged. You can’t really narrow this collection down with ‘this is a good one.’ I’d read you every single poem in it.” Read more...
The Best Books of Landscape Writing
Dan Richards, Travel Writer
“I don’t want to be accused of being negative about the whole cult of celebrity. Seamus Heaney is part of my redress against this. One positive thing celebrities can do for us is to dramatise those values and meanings which we think of as important and commendable. They can do that in the tormented way of a gossip magazines or the admirable, generous-hearted but always accurate way which you find in Seamus Heaney’s collections of both poems and essays.” Read more...
The best books on The Cult of Celebrity
Fred Inglis, Social Scientist
Interviews where books by Seamus Heaney were recommended
The best books on The Cult of Celebrity, recommended by Fred Inglis
Fred Inglis, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Sheffield, selects five books to help us understand the cult of celebrity, which is, as he puts it, “the public dramatisation of our best and worst feelings”.
The Best Books of Landscape Writing, recommended by Dan Richards
Good writing offers readers an invitation to explore and engage with the world around them, says Dan Richards—author of Outpost and Climbing Days—as he recommends five brilliant books that exemplify the skill of landscape writing.
Robin Robertson on Books that Influenced Him
“That’s what writing is: a struggle with oneself.” Scottish poet Robin Robertson—author of the verse novel The Long Take, shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize—lists the five works that have most influenced his writing, from Ulysses to Heaney.
The best books on Joe Biden, recommended by Ronald A. Klain
On January 20th, 2021, Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States. Here Ronald A. Klain, the veteran lawyer who is once again serving as Biden’s chief of staff, recommends books that show the man behind the public persona including his love of Irish poetry, the string of terrible personal tragedies that have affected his life and career, and his leading role in blocking a Supreme Court appointment that would’ve decimated abortion rights.
The best books on Veterans, recommended by Phil Klay
While many of us in the West commemorate the contribution of war veterans and the soldiers who lost their lives on our behalf, there’s also a tendency to see war as something distant and unconnected with our daily lives. Here Phil Klay, veteran of the US Marine Corps and award-winning novelist, recommends books that help bridge that gap—and capture the complicated relationship between soldiers and the societies on whose behalf they fight.