Seamus Heaney had the idea to form a personal selection from across the entire arc of his poetry, small yet comprehensive enough to serve as an introduction for all comers. He never managed to do this in his lifetime, and no edition exists which has such a broad range, drawing from first collection to last. But now, at last, the project has been returned to, resulting in an intimate gathering of poems chosen and introduced by the Heaney family. Coinciding with the National Library of Ireland launching a major exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Seamus Heaney, 100 Poems is a singular, accessible collection for new and younger readers that has the opportunity to reach far and wide, now and for years to come.
Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966, and was followed by poetry, criticism and translations which established him as the leading poet of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008; Human Chain, his last volume of poems, was awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best Collection. He died in 2013. His translation of Virgil's Aeneid Book VI was published posthumously in 2016 to critical acclaim, followed in 2018 by 100 Poems, a selection of poems from his entire career, chosen by his family.