Seamus Heaney’s poetic career has been one of constant development and expansion, and his place among the world’s greatest literary figures is universally acknowledged. When it first appeared in 1986, Neil Corcoran’s A Student’s Guide to Seamus Heaney was immediately recognized as the clearest and most thorough account of his work so far, and it has not been rivalled since. The new edition, which like the original has had the advantage of Seamus Heaney’s own cooperation and unstinted access to the poet’s papers, follows the same pattern, adding a chapter apiece on the major collections of poems published since 1986, as well as separate discussions of Heaney’s work as a translator and essayist. The published chapters have also been revised. In consequence, this not only remains the most useful introduction to a singularly varied and important body of work, but is the most up-to-date as well.
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