Monday, April 06, 2009

The Heaney Factor : Snipe and Awe

I'll try to make this the last Heaney-themed post for a while - but there's a couple of interesting tidbits related to the man's work which have recently popped up online.

One of those pesky lit-scraps is blossoming nicely over at The Jacket, where poet Jeffrey Side takes issue with comments made by Heaney regarding perceptions of the 'avante-garde'. Sides sees this as revealing Heaney's sensitivities to criticism of his own poetic as being ' ...distinctly old-fashioned, a sort of neo-Georgian retrogressive "poetic" utterance.'

Needless to say, there are plenty of alternate points of view, resulting in a growing body of response to Side's article, with contributions from Jamie McKendrick, Todd Swift and our own, ever-fluent, Desmond Swords among others.

In counterpoint, Mark Thwaite has a short interview with Dennis O'Driscoll about Stepping Stones - his book of interviews with Heaney - over at The Book Depository (a great online bookstore, just in the middle of a major overhaul).