To mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Seamus Heaney, Kilkenny Arts Festival present a series of discussions about Heaney Translations in which leading contemporary poets explore some of Heaney’s most celebrated translations with Olivia O’Leary.
The Testament of Cresseid — Vona Groarke with Olivia O’Leary
For this first reading, Vona Groarke joins Olivia O’Leary to talk about The Testament of Cresseid, Heaney’s version of Robert Henryson’s tragic poem about Troilus and Criseyde, set in the aftermath of the Trojan War.
3:00pm Monday 14 August 2023
Parade Tower, Kilkenny
Beowulf — Mary Clayton with Olivia O’Leary
Beowulf, the epic tale of a Danish hero and his struggle with the monster Grendel, is the greatest surviving work of literature in Old English, unmatched in grandeur and scope. The task of translating it into modern English was daunting, but Heaney undertook with relish, and his version was met with widespread acclaim. For this second event in our Heaney Translations series, Mary Clayton considers his retelling of one of the masterpieces of world literature.
3:00pm Wednesday 16 August 2023
The Midnight Verdict — Peter Fallon with Olivia O’Leary
Published by The Gallery Press in 1993, The Midnight Verdict was a bold venture that brought together Heaney’s translations of passages from Ovid’s Metamorphoses
with excerpts from Brian Merriman’s classic eighteenth-century poem, Cúirt an Mheán Oíche. For the final event in Heaney Translations, Gallery Press founder Peter Fallon – a lifelong friend of Seamus Heaney – delves into The Midnight Verdict.
3:00pm Friday 18 August 2023