Seamus Heaney Home

HomePlace ‘Keeping Going’ Finale To Feature Hugh Heaney

The finale of the YouTube performance series from Seamus Heaney HomePlace will feature a special reading by Hugh Heaney, the poet’s brother.

Hugh Heaney will read an introduction to and the first and last stanzas of ‘Keeping Going’, the poem which was dedicated to him, his perseverance and stamina and which has been the title for the online series of readings and performances which the Bellaghy-based literary centre launched in April.

In a stellar line-up, the Ulster Orchestra will perform a work by Neil Martin which created in 2016 based on Heaney’s epic poem Station Island, while acclaimed author Glen Patterson, star of the first episode, will be back for the finale to read the poem The Given Note and also a section from Station Island.

Describing the creative spark for his music, Neil Martin, said:

“As I delved into the poem in search of a springboard to launch me into composing something on it, Sequence XII grabbed me. In the imagined encounter of this section, the poet, self-doubting, meets James Joyce on the jetty at Lough Derg. Joyce emboldens the poet, telling him not to worry about what others think, but to have confidence in his own writing and to continue to write and to do so from the heart.

“Seamus himself was a solid encourager to me, from when we first collaborated on a Field Day stage in 1988 through to his very last years. Always supportive and sensitive in his generous suggestions, his hand often helped me off choppy waters and onto the jetty. And continues to do so to this very day.”

For the past 5 weeks while the doors of the award-winning facility have been temporarily closed, Seamus Heaney Home Place has found innovative ways of programming to bring some of Northern Ireland’s most talented writers, poets and performers into homes across the world via YouTube.

Councillor Martin Kearney, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council which owns and operates Seamus Heaney HomePlace, said:

“This final feature will bring extra special closure to a truly memorable series of events delivered by Seamus Heaney HomePlace, providing a wonderful testament both reflecting current times and offering the light of inspiration through the arts.”

The final episode will be available at 7pm on Wednesday 3rd June 2020 on Seamus Heaney HomePlace YouTube channel. Follow all Seamus Heaney HomePlace social media channels to discover all the exciting online content.