Nobel Laureate, World Famous Poet Seamus Heaney Dies at 74

BY Mike Melia  August 30, 2013 at 12:40 PM EDT

Seamus Heaney, one of the major poets of the twentieth century, died in Dublin on Friday at the age of 74. Known in his native Ireland as “Famous Seamus,” Heaney was that rare writer who garnered critical acclaim while harvesting a large public audience.

“The first poetry a writer feels he can trust and come to a point that you think that is a poem, that is a life changing experience,” Heaney told Jeffrey Brown on the NewsHour in 2011.

He was a prolific poet, publishing 16 major collections of verse, plus a number of smaller collections, along with translations and scores of works of prose.

Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1995 and in his address accepting the award described his life’s journey into “the wideness of language.”

Here you can watch the NewsHour’s full profile of Heaney:

You can also watch Heaney read one of his most famous poems, “Death of a Naturalist,” here:

Back in 2000, the NewsHour’s Elizabeth Farnsworth spoke with Heaney about his translation of the epic poem, “Beowulf.”

And The Poetry Foundation has an extensive biography of Heaney that includes a bibliography and suggested reading about the author. The Poetry Foundation funds the NewsHour’s Poetry Series.