Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again

Dublin, Ireland

Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again is the first major exploration of the poet’s work since his passing in 2013, as his literary archive, owned by the National Library of Ireland (NLI), is revealed to the public. It is also the inaugural exhibition at a new cultural center in the Bank of Ireland, and is the first time the NLI has held an exhibition in a space outside the library. The exhibition's core idea is one Heaney prized—that the transformative power of language can help us 'listen now again' to our world and our surroundings.

The exhibition tells the story of the poet’s work through an evolving thematic progression that leads us from the ordinary origins of Heaney’s birth through to his success, skill and dedication to the transformative power of poetry. Driving the progression from one theme to the next is the idea of transformation—from earth to air, dark to light, beginnings to completion, and the ordinary to the extraordinary. A recurrent motif in Heaney’s poetry—the four elements—form RAA’s guiding design principle ‘From Earth to Air’. The elemental themes of earth, fire, water and air each convey a period in Heaney’s life, and inform the visitor experience. In this exhibition, Excavations is represented by earth, Creativity by fire, Conscience by water, and Marvels by air.


500 square meters


Irish & English

© 2014, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Inc.