Seamus Heaney, Nobel-prizewinning Irish poet who passed away in 2013, wrote beautiful poems of extraordinary clarity and vision—poems about home place, about belonging, about mythology, about digging, and about the voice itself. In this class—taught by Tess Taylor, a distinguished Bay Area poet who has just returned from several months in Heaney’s native Northern Ireland—we’ll become diggers too, reading Heaney in depth across his career and looking at how his work develops from book to book. This is a chance to watch one extraordinary poet grow and change, and also to watch the way the themes of one body of work expand and resonate across time.
Digging Deep: Reading Seamus Heaney
Date: 4 Saturdays: October 14, 28, November 4, 18
Time: 10 am-12 pm
Instructor: Tess Taylor
Maximum Enrollment: 9
Genre: Literature, Poetry
Tess Taylor grew up in El Cerrito and attended Berkeley High School, and after 15 years on the East Coast came back to El Cerrito, where she lives and writes. The San Francisco Chronicle called her first book, The Forage House, “stunning” and it was a finalist for The Believer Poetry Award. Her second book, Work & Days, was called “our moment’s Georgic” by critic Stephen Burt and was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by the New York Times. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, Harvard Review, The Times Literary Supplement, and other places. Taylor chairs the poetry committee of the National Book Critics Circle and is currently the on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered. This year, Taylor received a Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar Award and spent the spring of 2017 teaching and writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre at Queen’s University Belfast.
More about Tess: www.tess-taylor.com