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Friday, 30 August 2013

"Des Kavanagh tells me I should take one of your poetry workshops." Seamus Heaney 1939-2013

I met Seamus Heaney twice. The first time was after my Strong Award shortlist reading at the Poetry Now Festival in Dun Laoghaire in 2006. There was a reception afterwards and he came up to me and said: "Des Kavanagh tells me I should take one of your poetry workshops." Des went to school with Seamus Heaney and has taken many workshops at Galway Arts Centre with me. For once, I was a bit speechless. 

The second time I met him was when in 2009 he came to the reading at Clifden Arts Week by the same workshop group Des had told him about. He was in Clifden to read at the festival himself. Afterwards, the whole group had an extended lunch in Des's apartment in Clifden with Seamus. He spent most of the time talking to the workshop participants, who are the same group who have since launched the Skylight 47 poetry paper. It was great to see.