Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney grew up in rural Northern Ireland, and began to write poetry whilst at university. At the time, he wrote under a pseudonym, and it would be a while before he was confident enough to openly display his talent with words. His poetry covers a wide range of topics, including his childhood, which forms the basis for some of his most vivid and evocative poems. His description of discoveries as a youngster, and of reactions to difficult situations (such as the death of a relative) are particularly well-crafted. The Troubles in Northern Ireland are an unavoidable and significant theme in other of his works. He addresses difficult topics with a keen eye for the heart of the issue, and relates them particularly well to his own personal acquaintances and experiences. He also identifies strongly with Celtic history and culture, which appears again and again in his poems. Heaney's move south of the border was criticised by some as a betrayal of his homeland and an escape from the troubles. His other works include a much acclaimed translation of the poem Beowulf.

Editors note:

Heaney died on August 30, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland after a period of poor health at the of 74.