Back Books Of The Month - Non Fiction Forward

April 2002

Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001

by Seamus Heaney

(Hardback; 25.00 Euro / 22.50 USD / 20.50 UK) 416 pages; Faber

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This book is a gathering of Seamus Heaney's prose of three decades. Whether autobiographical, topical or specifically literary, these essays and lectures circle the central pre-occupying questions: 'How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to be to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage and the contemporary world?'

As well as being a selection from the poet's three previous collections of prose, the present volume includes material from 'The Place of Writing', a series of lectures delivered at Emory University in 1988. Also included are a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in volume form, ranging from short newspaper articles to more extended lectures and contributions to books, including 'Place and Displacement' (1984), only available previously as a pamphlet (of which I have two copies only available from stock priced at 50 Euro each), and 'Burns's Art Speech', written for the bicentennial of Robert Burns's death. In its soundings of a wide range of poets - Irish and British, American and East European, predecessors and contemporaries - this collection is, as its title indicates, 'an announcement of both excitement and possession.'

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