November 03, 2023

WATCH: Here's why the Seamus Heaney Centre in Belfast is moving

The Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's University Belfast will be moving to a new landmark building and will include an exhibition area to display the Seamus Heaney archive held by Queen's.

Established as a space for excellence in poetry and research as well as being the home of Creative Writing at Queen's, the Seamus Heaney Centre will be moving to a state-of-the-art landmark building as part of a huge chapter in the centre's history and literary Belfast. 

The new centre will feature an expanded poetry library, a large venue space, teaching rooms, academic offices, and an exhibition area to display the Seamus Heaney archive held by Queen’s. As well as an abundance of space for students to sit in and craft the words that could possibly shape how we understand ourselves and our world years from now.

Catherine Heaney, the daughter of Seamus Heaney and a member of the Centre's Advisory Board explains, "The Heaney Centre is really important to me and my family because it's about education and so many people know my father as a poet.

"Queen's was where he started writing poetry but also where he studied himself and where he started his career as a lecturer and an educator. As far as we're concerned, it plays a really important part in his legacy."

Seamus Heaney himself attended the opening ceremony of the Centre in 2003 and said the space was evidence of Queen’s faith in the imaginative and intellectual work that had brought such repute and renown to the university.

The present-day Centre appoints three Fellows annually, writers of distinction in any genre or form, including in the first five years Lisa McGee, creator of "Derry Girls", Ivor Novello winning songwriter and Ash frontman Tim Wheeler, Kae Tempest, Roddy Doyle and Doireann Ní Ghríofa, a poet and novelist working across Irish and English.

Regular "Seamus Heaney Centre Presents" events showcase student writing and the work of a special guest that sheds an interesting light on a theme. The belief is simple: all writers, all makers, can learn from other writers and makers.

Find out more information about the Seamus Heaney Centre here. Queen's University Belfast is a leading institution on the island of Ireland. Founded in 1845 as one of three 'Queen's Colleges' on the island, Queen's is now ranked in the top 200 universities in the world. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter