Seamus Heaney inspires A Sense of Home for local pupils

June 15, 2016

A new book of poetry by local children, inspired by the work of Seamus Heaney, has been launched.

Pupils from six local primary schools in Mid Ulster used their creative writing skills, developed as part Mid Ulster District Council’s Seamus Heaney Education Programme, for the new book entitled ‘A Sense of Home’.

Anahorish Primary School, Castledawson Primary School, New Row Primary School, Castledawson, St. Mary’s Primary School, Bellaghy, St. Mary’s Primary School, Greenlough, and Woods Primary School, Magherafelt took part in the poetry writing project.

With the assistance of Maura Johnston, writer and poet, the pupils read and studied poetry by Seamus Heaney, and then took part in poetry writing workshops.

The teachers and pupils continued this work after Maura’s visits and the poems that make up A Sense of Home are the children’s creative response to what they read, observed and experienced during this project.

Speaking at the launch of the poetry book Councillor Dominic Molloy, Chair of the Council’s Development Committee said, “I am absolutely delighted to be at the launch of the A Sense of Home poetry book this morning. To have a publication produced to such a high quality and standard by our local primary students is magnificent.

“Pupils responded thoughtfully and positively to the programme and produced beautifully crafted and perceptive poems inspired by the works of Seamus Heaney which they will be able to look back on forever. A huge congratulations to everyone involved.”

Mrs Karen White, Principal of Woods Primary School, Magherafelt added: “This project was a great opportunity for the children in Primary 6 to work with a real writer. The boys and girls picked up lots of tips from Maura on how to structure their poems and their writing improved greatly. Thank you for including Woods Primary School in this worthwhile activity.”

The Education Programme is being delivered by Mid Ulster District Council in partnership with the Verbal Arts Centre and is part-funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Other activities will take place as part of the Council’s Seamus Heaney Education Programme in advance of HomePlace opening later this year.