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Poetry Day: Seamus Heaney

Co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the Art Institute of Chicago

Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM (CDT)

Poetry Day: Seamus Heaney

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Tickets are no longer available for this event. A limited number of standby tickets may be available the day of the event on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 5pm.



Tickets available beginning Monday, October 1, 2012 at 9am.

Doors open at 5:00pm on Thursday, October 18, 2012. Please arrive no later than 5:45pm.

Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney will give the 2012 Poetry Day reading in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Poetry magazine. Born in 1939 at his family’s farm in County Derry, Northern Ireland, Heaney published his first collection of poetry, Death of a Naturalist, in 1966, and the book won the Geoffrey Faber Prize and the Gregory Award. Heaney has gone on to issue over a dozen collections of verse, most recently District and Circle (2006) and Human Chain (2010). Poem by poem, in a vernacular that is at once sure, robust and musical, his work explores the complex bonds and divisions embedded in language, the idea of land in both its physical and political dimensions, and the difficult connection between poetry and history. In awarding him the Nobel Prize in 1995, the judges cited Heaney “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.” Heaney is also the author of essays and versions of Sophocles, Pushkin, and others.His 1999 translation of Beowulf was a bestseller. Heaney taught at Harvard from 1981 through 2006, first as the Boylston Professor of Oratory and Rhetoric, then as the Ralph Waldo Emerson Poet in Residence. In 1989, he was elected to a five-year term as Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Heaney first appeared in Poetry magazine in February 1972, and his poem "A Dog Was Crying To-Night in Wicklow Also," published in Poetry in October 1995, was selected by the magazine editors for inclusion in the centennial anthology, The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of Poetry Magazine (forthcoming in October 2012).

Inaugurated by Robert Frost in 1955, Poetry Day is one of the oldest and most distinguished reading series in the country.  Past readers have included T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, W. H. Auden, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hass, and Derek Walcott.

When & Where

Art Institute of Chicago, Modern Wing
159 E Monroe St
Chicago, IL 60601

Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM (CDT)

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Co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the Art Institute of Chicago

About the Poetry Foundation: The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative partnerships, prizes, and programs. Opened to the public in June 2011, the Poetry Foundation building in Chicago provides new space for the Foundation’s extensive roster of public programs and events. It also houses a public garden, a library, and an exhibition gallery, as well as the offices of the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine. For more information, please visit

About the Art Institute of Chicago: Founded in 1879 as both a museum and school, The Art Institute of Chicago collects, preserves, and interprets works of art of the highest quality, representing the world's diverse artistic traditions, for the inspiration and education of the public and in accordance with our profession's highest ethical standards and practices. The collection encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression from cultures around the world, and the school's graduate program is continually ranked as one of the best in the country. Within the next decade, a new complex will continue this process of growth.

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