Poetry festival to celebrate Seamus Heaney 'On Home Ground'
16 June 2014
A poetry festival named by and supported by the late Seamus Heaney will poignantly celebrate the life and times of the great poet just one year after his death.
The festival which was named “On Home Ground” by the poet before his untimely death will take place in the stunning setting of Laurel Villa, Magherafelt, a designated UK Poetry Society Landmark, and surrounding locations which inspired much of Heaney’s work. This year the event will be called Celebrating Seamus Heaney On Home Ground 2014, in his honour.
The event, running over four days in September in the heart of the late Seamus Heaney’s homeland, will this year celebrate the life, work and legacy of Ireland's most well-known and respected poet through poetry, music and art and will bring a host of huge names from all of these worlds to Magherafelt, the district he called home.
Heaney, who was born three miles away at Mossbawn, was a patron of the On Home Ground Festival and featured heavily in last year’s very successful event at Laurel Villa. This year the Heaney family have given the festival their blessing to carry on in his name.
Organised by Laurel Villa’s husband and wife team, Eugene and Gerardine Kielt, in partnership with the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry and curated by BBC Arts Broadcaster Marie-Louise Muir, On Home Ground Festival will feature an array of literary and artistic gems from 11 - 14 September. Highlights of the programme include an exhibition of films made for the BBC and presented by Seamus Heaney, many of which have never been broadcast more than once.
There will be readings from some of Ireland’s finest writers and poets, children’s workshops, a poetry picnic, coach tours of ‘Heaney Country’ and In Conversations with special guests – including Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody who will read Heaney poetry and perform songs, one of which he has dedicated to the late poet, and musicians Neil Martin, Rod McVey and actress Brid Brennan, will perform a bespoke session on Heaney. Artist Colin Davidson, whose portrait of Heaney was the last painting Heaney sat for, will be In Conversation with writer Glenn Patterson.