'In the Ivy When I Leave'
It was to Glanmore Cottage, just outside the village of Ashford, Co. Wicklow, that Seamus Heaney retreated to write much of his poetry. Glanmore became his “haven”. It was here where, in his own words, “ … my imaginative existence feels guaranteed. I work more confidently and more productively [here] than anywhere else”. When Field Work was published in 1979, the influence of Glanmore first became evident to the world, not least through the Glanmore Sonnets. With typical generosity, Seamus later donated the original typescripts of the sonnets to fundraise for a new community and heritage centre in Ashford, which opened in 2014. The idea for this book flows from the essays prepared for a posthumous 2019 exhibition at the centre to commemorate Seamus’s 80th birthday. In these essays Seamus’s family, along with friends and neighbours from Ashford, have each chosen a poem that best celebrates their personal connection to poet and place. This elegant publication, with beautiful illustrations and calligraphy by Oona Tully, is not only a unique eulogy to Seamus Heaney, it is also a tribute to the people and landscape of Ashford.