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Finders Keepers is a gathering of Seamus Heaney’s prose of three decades. Whether autobiographical, topical or specifically literary, these essays and lectures circle the central preoccupying questions: ‘How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to be to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage and the contemporary world?’
As well as being a selection from the poet’s three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue and The Redress of Poetry), the present volume includes material from The Place of Writing, a series of lectures delivered at Emory University in 1988. Also included are a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in volume form, ranging from short newspaper articles to more extended lectures and contributions to books, including ‘Place and Displacement’ (1984), only available previously as a pamphlet, and ‘Burns’s Art Speech’, written for the bicentennial of Robert Burns’s death. In its soundings of a wide range of poets – Irish and British, American and East European, predecessors and contemporaries – Finders Keepers is, as its title indicates, ‘an announcement of both excitement and possession’.
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