For Immediate Release

Seamus Heaney Reads for 58th Annual Poetry Day

September 28th, 2012

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is pleased to announce that Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney will read in celebration of the 58th annual Poetry Day on Thursday, October 18. Born in 1939 at his family’s farm in 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 more than a dozen collections of verse, most recently District and Circle (2006) and Human Chain (2010). The Nobel judges cited Heaney “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.” He is also the author of essays and versions of Sophocles, Pushkin, and others. His 1999 translation of Beowulf was a bestseller. Heaney has taught at Queen’s University, Harvard, and Oxford. He first appeared in Poetry magazine in February 1972, and his 1995 poem "A Dog Was Crying To-Night in Wicklow Also" is among the one hundred poems selected for The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine.

What: Poetry Day: Seamus Heaney
When: Thursday, October 18, 6 p.m.
: Art Institute of Chicago, Modern Wing, 159 East Monroe Street
Tickets: Available beginning October 1 at 9am. Visit or call the Poetry Foundation at (312) 787-7070. Limit 2 tickets per reservation.

Inaugurated by Robert Frost in 1955, Poetry Day is one of the oldest and most distinguished poetry reading series in the country, having featured such poets of note as T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Carl Sandburg, W.H. Auden, Anne Sexton, John Ashbery, James Merrill, Adrienne Rich, Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, and Robert Hass.

Find information about other Poetry Foundation events at


About Poetry Magazine
Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg, and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented—often for the first time—works by virtually every major contemporary poet. In 2011, the magazine was honored with two National Magazine Awards. It celebrates its centennial in 2012.

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

POETRY FOUNDATION | 61 W. Superior Street | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.787.7070
Media contact: Kristin Gecan, 312.799.8065;

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