Mar 16, 2000 - Ashley Tate
The University community will be treated to an extraordinary event at 7:30 p.m. on April 4, when Irish poets Seamus Heaney and Peter Fallon join together for "An Evening with Irish Poets" in the Villanova Room.
Heaney, whose current publication is an extremely popular translation of the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, is an accomplished Irish writer who has been deemed as "the most important Irish poet since Yeats" by Robert Lowell.
He was the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature and has received numerous other awards for his poetry. His works include Death of a Naturalist, Field Work, Seeing Things, Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996 and many others.
Fallon, a well-known Irish poet and publisher, is the current beneficiary of the Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. chair in Irish studies at Villanova. He is the author of several poetry books which include Winter Work, News of the World, and Eye to Eye.
In addition, he is the founder of The Gallery Press and is also known as one of Ireland's pre-eminent poets of the late 20th century.
Fallon and Heaney share a friendship that dates back to December 1971, when Fallon needed to have Heaney sign a broadside of his poem in a limited edition that Fallon had published.
He said, "It should only have taken 45 minutes, but we seemed to get along pretty well, and it took all day." This was the beginning of their continuing friendship.
The two friends work in the same field, so throughout the years, they have become increasingly closer friends, and have made it a priority to see each other regularly so that they share "one ongoing conversation rather than a stop-start conversation." While Fallon "doesn't have a clue" as to what he or Heaney will be reading, he hints that Heaney may be reading some new poems.
Fallon said, "He will probably publish a new book at the end of the year."
More than anything, Fallon looks forward to reading with his good friend since, in 30 years of friendship, the two have never read together.
Fallon said, "I'm really excited about this."
With this reading, Heaney and Fallon hope to put the newly endowed chair "on the map" and to recognize the endowed chair. Fallon also wishes to recognize the dedication of Dr. James Murphy to the Irish Studies program. In addition, Fallon also has "simple hopes" that a poem, or at least a portion of a poem, will affect or connect with someone. He realizes that some poems may "not make sense to everyone" but that "somewhere in all of that there is the possibility of some type of connection and that is enough for me."
This poetry reading, which brings the Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies and the Nobel Laureate together, has an admission charge of $5. Tickets are available in the English department office room 402 of St. Augustine Center.