Frank Ormsby: poems for Seamus Heaney

Frank Ormsby introduces and reads two poems in memory of his friend Seamus Heaney, ‘Towards an Elegy’ and ‘With Seamus Heaney in Mind’, from his 2019 collection The Rain Barrel. For more information on The Rain Barrel, see https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/the-rain-barrel-1222 Neil…

Frank Ormsby: poems for Seamus Heaney

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Frank Ormsby introduces and reads two poems in memory of his friend Seamus Heaney, ‘Towards an Elegy’ and ‘With Seamus Heaney in Mind’, from his 2019 collection The Rain Barrel. For more information on The Rain Barrel, see https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/the-rain-barrel-1222

Neil Astley filmed him reading and discussing his work at his home in Belfast in April 2019. Separate videos are posted of Frank Ormsby reading selections of poems from each of his three Bloodaxe titles, including one of him reading three other poems from The Rain Barrel (https://vimeo.com/459125907/).

Frank Ormsby has been a central figure in the poetry of Northern Ireland for the past forty years. Born in 1947, in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, he was editor of The Honest Ulsterman from 1969 to 1989, and Head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution until retiring in 2010. In 2019 he was appointed Ireland Professor of Poetry for the next three years. In 2015 Bloodaxe published his retrospective Goat’s Milk: New & Selected Poems, drawing on work from four previous collections, A Store of Candles (1977), A Northern Spring (1986), The Ghost Train (1995) and Fireflies (2009) as well as a collection of new poems. This was followed by two later collections, The Darkness of Snow (2017), and The Rain Barrel (2019).

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