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Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney to visit Aberdeen University

Date: January 26,  2001
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Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney will visit the University of Aberdeen early next month when he will take part in two major events.

Dr Heaney, an honorary graduate of the University, will arrive in Aberdeen on Tuesday, February 6, when he will give a public lecture as part of the prestigious Across the Water: Reflections on Scotland and Ireland lecture series.

The lecture Throughother Places, Throughother Times, will take place at 7.00pm, in King’s College Conference Centre. He will be the second eminent speaker in the four-part series, which has been organised by Scottish historian Professor Tom Devine, Director of the University’s Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies. This event is already sold out.

Canon Kenyon Wright, former Chair of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, gave the first lecture last November. Dr Heaney will be followed by Daniel Mulhall, Consul General of Ireland in Scotland, whose lecture Making the Caledonian Connection will take place on March 13. The final lecture will be given by the Rt Hon Adam Ingram MP, Minister of State for Northern Ireland, whose lecture, Securing the Future of Northern Ireland, will take place on May 3.

The following day (Wednesday, February 7), Dr Heaney will launch Word 2001, which will take place in May. The four-day event, of which Dr Heaney is Patron, will feature leading Scottish writers including Alasdair Gray, Liz Lochhead, Pat McCabe, Bernard MacLaverty, William McIlvanney, Ciaran Carson, Aberdeen University writer-in-residence Alan Spence, and many more.

There will be children’s events at selected schools and city venues; readings in bookshops and libraries; lectures and debates at the University; film screenings and readings at Aberdeen’s new art house cinema, The Belmont; children’s theatre, as well as word and music events at the Lemon Tree, and word and art events at Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Word 2001 follows the success of the original Word festival, which took place in May 1999. It was referred to by a local newspaper as ‘the biggest literary event in Scotland outside the Edinburgh Book Festival’.

Following the launch of Word 2001, Dr Heaney will give a public reading in the Arts Lecture Theatre, Old Aberdeen, at noon, during which he will read from a selection of his work. Tickets for this event are still available and can be obtained from the Word 2001 web site on, or by phoning (01224) 272097.

University Press Office on telephone +44 (0)1224-273778 or email