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Kathleen Jamie named Seamus Heaney International Visiting Poetry Fellow

Thursday 7th March 2019 at 9am 0 Comments Literature

Kathleen Jamie by Robin Gillanders Image: Kathleen Jamie by Robin Gillanders

Award-winning Scottish poet Kathleen Jamie has been appointed as the second Seamus Heaney International Visiting Poetry Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast.

The fellowship is part of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast’s joint ten-year Seamus Heaney Legacy project and is supported by Atlantic Philanthropies. The appointment is worth £20,000 annually and made to a distinguished poet of international repute.

Jamie will be based at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University later this year, presenting public readings, workshops and masterclasses for students at the University. She will also give a reading at the Seamus Heaney Homeplace in Bellaghy.

Speaking about the appointment and looking ahead to her time in Belfast, Ms Jamie said:

“As a Scottish poet I've always looked to Ireland, admiring writers from north and south; for years I've secretly hankered to spend time there. I never imagined the opportunity would arrive in such a prestigious manner! I’d be delighted to become the next Fellow and I’m looking forward to it already.”

Kathleen Jamie was born in the west of Scotland in 1962. Her poetry collections to date include The Overhaul, which won the Costa Poetry Prize, and The Tree House, which won the Forward prize. Her non-fiction includes the highly regarded books Findings and Sightlines, both regarded as important contributions to the 'new nature writing'. Her most recent poetry collection, The Bonniest Companie appeared in 2015, and won the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. A Selected Poems appeared in 2018.

Professor Glenn Patterson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s, said:

“Along with the Arts Council, we are very pleased to announce Kathleen Jamie as the second Seamus Heaney International Visiting Poetry Fellow and look forward to welcoming her to the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s, and to Belfast. We know Kathleen’s appointment will benefit not only local writers, students and the academic community, but also the wider public here in Northern Ireland.”

Nóirín McKinney, Director of Arts Development at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: 

“We are delighted to announce Kathleen Jamie’s appointment today. During her time in Northern Ireland, Kathleen will work closely with the MA students at Queen’s as well as taking part in public lectures, readings and workshops. As our second Visiting International Poet, Kathleen’s appointment follows a very successful visit to Northern Ireland by the American Poet Mark Doty and like he did, we hope Kathleen finds much to inspire her own future writing during her time here.”

The distinguished selection panel is comprised of current Ireland Professor of Poetry Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, and fellow poets Ciaran Carson, Gerald Dawe, Leontia Flynn, Michael Longley and Paula Meehan.

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