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Heaney and Longley 1968 Poetry Tour de Force Revisited in May

Linen Hall Marks 50 Years Since Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley Embarked on Poetry Tour de Force

Fifty years ago, at a time when Northern Ireland balanced precariously on the brink of 30 years of conflict, poets Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley (pictured) embarked on an unprecedented regional poetry reading tour entitled Room to Rhyme. In May, the Linen Hall remembers this ground-breaking poetry tour-de-force with a conference focusing on Northern Ireland poetry and crisis, and a reading with Michael Longley.

We also open the archives on the Mount Stewart Londonderry Papers, and launch a new poetry book by award-winning poet Colin Dardis.

The schedule of events in date order is as follows:
Melancholy Witness
Images of the ‘Troubles’ by Séan Hillen
Continues until 5 May/ exhibition/ free

Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate, said of Séan Hillen’s pictures: “The images have a documentary accuracy, but it is the aura of melancholy witness that marks them as the work of Séan Hillen.” Combining documentary history, what emerges is a powerful and compelling story of unrest, beauty and change. This is the first Belfast showing and exclusive to the Linen Hall.
Mount Stewart and the Wider World:
An Introduction to the Londonderry Papers at PRONI
Wednesday 2 May at 1.00pm/ lecture/ free

The ‘Londonderry Papers’ derive from the 7th Marques of Londonderry (1878 – 1949) and his wife, Edith Helen, née Chaplin, and consists of c. 4,000 files and c. 10,000 letters, that relate primarily to the career of Lord Londonderry. Part of the PRONI (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland) series of lectures at the Linen Hall.
Conversational Irish Language Class
Thursdays from 3 May at 4.00pm/ language class/ free

Brush up on your Irish language skills with Dr Stiofan Ó Diréain.
The x of y With Colin Dardis
Thursday 3 May at 5.30pm/ reading/ free

Multi-award winning poet, editor and arts facilitator, Colin Dardis reads from his debut full-length collection from Eyewear Publishing.
Irish Language Class
Fridays from 4 May at 4.15pm/ language class/ free

Always wanted to learn Irish? Now is your chance with these free classes funded by the Ultach Trust and taught by Niall Mac Lochlainn.
Linen Hall Library 2018 Writers on Writers Festival
9 – 12 May

We’re marking the Linen Hall’s 230th birthday this year in our popular annual Writers on Writers Festival. This year we’re focusing on the great city of Belfast and its literary history. Details to follow on separate release.
Irish Book Club
Saturday 12 May at 11.00am/book club/ free

Whatever your level of mastery in the Irish language, all are welcome to join and discuss the latest chosen book. This month’s title is Duan na Nollag by Charles Dickens.
Of Mouth: Poetry Masterclass
With poet Ted Deppe
Friday 18 May at 10.00am/ workshop/ free

Theodore Deppe is the author of many books including Children of the Air and The Wanderer King, (Alice James Books, 1990 and 1996) Cape Clear: New and Selected Poems (Salmon, 2002), Orpheus on the Red Line (Tupelo, 2009), and Beautiful Wheel (Arlen House, 2014).
Of Mouth: With Ted Deppe, Sheenagh Pugh and Annie Deppe
Friday 18 May at 1.00pm/ reading/ free

Readings from three published writers.
Room to Rhyme 50th Anniversary
Wednesday 23 May 9.30am – 5.00pm/ conference/ free

This year marks 50 years since the Room to Rhyme tour was launched. This ground-breaking Arts Council-sponsored tour, with Michael Longley and Seamus Heaney reading poetry and David Hammond singing, travelled around Northern Ireland at a time when the region was on the brink of 30 years of conflict. To mark the anniversary the Linen Hall and the University of Reading present a conference on Northern Ireland poetry and crises.
By Michael Longley, Colette Bryce & Alan Gillis
Wednesday 23 May at 6.00pm/ reading/ free

One of Ireland’s foremost contemporary poets, Michael Longley is joined for this special occasion by Derry poet Colette Bryce whose latest collection, The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014), was awarded a special Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize in memory of Seamus Heaney; and Alan Gillis from Belfast, who recently coedited The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry. Alan is a former research fellow at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University, and a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.
Linen Hall Reading Group
Thursday 31 May at 1.10pm/ discussion/ free

All are welcome to join in the discussion and debate of the selected title of the month. This month’s chosen book is The Star Man by Conor O’Clery.


Pictures and interviews are available on request. Contact Linen Hall Library Digital and Marketing Comms Specialist Rachel Wetherall at r.wetherall@linenhall.com or tel: 028 9032 1707.

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