Meir Wieseltier Dies/Heaney’s 10th Anniversary – Poetry News Roundup April 3rd

We begin the week on My Poetic Side with the news of the death of Israeli poet Meir Wieseltier. We also look at the event to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Seamus Heaney.

Meir Wieseltier Dies at the Age of 82

The prolific translator and writer, who is considered to be one of the leaders of Hebrew poetry, has died at the age of 82.

Meir Wieseltier, who was particularly well-known for his political works, died on Thursday last week.

Born in Moscow, he moved to Israel in its early years settling first in Netanya and then Tel Aviv. Over the years, he won a number of awards for his work, including in 2000 the Israel Prize for Literature.

During his prolific writing career, he published 20 poetry books and also translated poetry from French, English and Russian into Hebrew. He also produced a translation of several of the plays of William Shakespeare.

In addition to his writing, he also taught literature classes at the University of Haifa, edited several literary magazines and was a co-founder of “Siman Kriah” a literary journal.

He was a three-time recipient of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Hebrew Literary Works in 1977, 1993 and 2011. In 1994 he won his Bialik Prize, and in 2015 a Newman Prize.

Known for his overtly political works, he also penned many love poems.

He is survived by his two daughters.

Seamus Heaney – Tenth Anniversary Celebrations

It has been announced that a special weekend of celebrations will take place for the former poet laureate Seamus Heaney. The celebration will take place to coincide with the tenth celebration of the poet’s life, and a number of award winning poets will make the journey to Bellaghy to mark the occasion.

The event is scheduled to take place during the late August bank holiday weekend, and Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, will open the events. The focal point of the weekend will, of course, be poetry, with a blend of film and music also taking place to celebrate the works and life of the late poet.

On Saturday evening there will be a special concert of Irish music and the event is scheduled to close with a screening of Seamus Heaney. This is a feature-length documentary in which the poet’s children and widow speak about their life with the poet and read some of their favourites from amongst his works. There are also clips of his brothers reminiscing about their childhood and the life that inspired much of his earlier work.

Heaney passed away in hospital on 30th August 2013 at the age of 74, following a short illness.

Rising to fame in 1966, Heaney has often been described as the greatest Irish poet in existence since WB Yeats. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2011 he decided to give his personal literary notes Ireland’s National Library and joined names such as James Joyce and WB Yeats as Irish Literary masters.

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