Heaney's literature continues to inspire in new season programme

December 12, 2017

Seamus Heaney HomePlace starts its second full calendar year this January showing no signs of stopping its celebration of the life, literature and poetry of Seamus Heaney, as it continues to showcase the cream of talent from the worlds of literature, acting, music and film in its new season programme, details of which have just been released.

Like Seamus Heaney’s poetry, the work of BAFTA and International Emmy award-winning screenwriter Jimmy McGovern (Brookside, Cracker, The Street) is inextricably linked to his home territory, in his case the north of England. He will explore this inspiration in conversation with playwright and screenwriter Daragh Carville on Saturday 27 January.

Though she was brought up in a home where a lot of oral storytelling went on, it never occurred to Irish novelist Marian Keyes that she could write. Proving herself wrong, she has become one of the most successful novelists of all time, having published 13 and sold 30 million of them, all bestsellers around the world. Marian will discuss her latest novel, The Break, with Rick O’Shea on Sunday 15 April.

Wilko Johnson studied English Literature and planned to become a teacher but rock and roll had other plans as an international career performing in seminal 1970s band, Dr Feelgood, beckoned. In recent years he has made the transition from music stage to film and screen stage, but has never stopped performing. Wilko will be in conversation with Zoë Howe, a musician, artist and author who has co-authored his autobiography, Looking Back at Me, on Saturday 14 April.

Taking a topical closer look at language in journalism, Olivia O’Leary will join Malachi Doherty and Sean Hillen, in a panel discussion chaired by Marie-Louise Muir on Friday 16 March. In an era in which the Media is under scrutiny such as never before, leading journalists discuss what journalism can learn about the ethical use of language through the poetry of Seamus Heaney.

In February, taking Seamus Heaney’s love for the poetry of Robert Burns as the inspiration, HomePlace hosts a celebration of the language and culture which connects us so closely to Scotland in two consecutive weekends (16 -17 and 22 – 25 February) which are packed with events.

Featuring Burns’s biographer, Robert Crawford, an Ian Cochrane revival, music from Eddi Reader and Elsafty, Armstrong and Browne, the mini-festival ‘Pronounced in the Place’ culminates in an evening in conversation with BAFTA nominated and Oliver award winning actor and novelist John Gordon Sinclair (Gregory’s Girl) on Sunday 25 February, which sees him chat to Hugh Odling-Smee about his writing, acting, love of the spoken and written word, and his fascination with the poetry of Robert Burns.

The season is bookended by a focus on the local in January as ‘Music, poems and songs from the soul’ (featuring Moneymore poet, Maura Johnston) on Saturday 13 January; the launch of local crime fiction writer Anthony Quinn’s new novel, Undertow on Saturday 20 January; and songs from Dungiven born Cara Dillon on Thursday 8 February start the season. And then to close in April, in a recognition of the international reach of Seamus Heaney’s work, an exploration of Seamus Heaney and the Polish connection by Michael Parker, complemented by Ad Hoc Theatre Company’s poetry reading from the work of two contemporaries of Seamus Heaney and two fellow Nobel Laureates, the late Wislawa Szymborska, and Czesław Miłosz, both on Saturday 28.

Theatre that takes its inspiration from the work of Seamus Heaney presented by ArtsEkta, City Theatre Dublin and Terra Nova Productions is also on offer.

Full details and tickets for all January to April events, workshops and the permanent exhibition are available at www.seamusheaneyhome.com or at Box Office, 45 Main Street, Bellaghy, telephone 028 7938 7444.