On Home Ground this year will celebrate the late great Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney. The festival will host a collection of literary events with a varied programme of entertainment with emphasis on the culture and creative vibrancy of the local people and countryside of “Seamus Heaney Country” We are thrilled to have gathered a high calibre of locally and internationally renowned writers, musicians, artists , literary organisations and publishers to pay special tribute to the poet and his work.
The Verbal Arts Centre is unique in its promotion of language and literature. Situated in Derry~Londonderry on the City walls, our ethos is to engage, educate and enthuse through the arts and development of written and spoken word.
We are honoured to have forged a strong artistic partnership between ourselves at the Verbal Arts Centre and Laurel Villa, and are dedicated to continuing the celebration of the life, work and legacy of Seamus Heaney through the arts.
I first heard Seamus Heaney at an event in Magherafelt in 1977. He was already something of a crowd-puller. Over thirty years later he came to this small guest house, not exactly a bastion of academia, and treated a small group of us to a magical night of poems, stories and humour. A few days later Gerardine and I got a letter from him thanking us for having him. Thinking about those things, I feel they summed up what has attracted me to Seamus Heaney down the years, things over and above his gifts as a poet. His charisma, his loyalty to his home ground, his thoughtfulness and his humility. I feel that we have much to celebrate and still much to learn from Seamus Heaney.