Seamus Heaney Centre Fellows Announced

Queen's University has appointed Jo Baker, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and Peter Wilson, who performs as Duke Special, as the first Seamus Heaney Centre Fellows.

The Fellowships will enable three writers annually to contribute to the activities of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry within the University and the wider literary community.

Jo Baker, who is the author of six novels, said: "I'm a former student of Queen's, and my time there, within the English Department, and as a member of the Writers' Group, was absolutely transformative for me.
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"The Seamus Heaney Centre was established towards the end of my time at the University. I remember the fresh clean paint and the deliberately-red-wine-coloured carpet, and the sense that here was what was needed: space - whole rooms, a whole building - in which writers could work and learn, and be part of a creative community. Life took me elsewhere, but it was wonderful place to start from, and I’m delighted that they're prepared to have me back."

Doireann Ní Ghríofa, who writes in Irish and English and won the 2016 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature,said: "I've been following the literary vibrancy of the city from afar for some time. I'm immensely grateful to be offered this opportunity. I am very much looking forward to working in tandem with the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University to devise and deliver a series of events."

Professor Glenn Patterson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's, said: "These Fellowships represent a commitment by the Seamus Heaney Centre to the encouragement and celebration of writing in all its forms. And no better people to have as our first three Fellows than Jo, Doireann and Peter. We look forward very much to working with them in the months ahead."

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