Fans of acclaimed Irish author Seamus Heaney and of poetry in general will be delighted to discover a new arts and literary venue which is set to open in Bellaghy, Northern Ireland. Set to be unveiled 30th September, the Seamus Heaney HomePlace will pay homage to the late poet’s work by featuring personal stories, artefacts and photographs. A core feature of these exhibitions will be the use of advanced technology in order to discover more about Heaney’s personal life; touch-screen interaction along with video and audio clips will immerse the visitor in history. Guests of the venue will additionally be able to experience listening to the poet read his own work, further sending his fans back in time as if they were audience to his performance.
Non-native English speakers will also be able to read the poet’s work thanks to the exhibition’s investment in over 20 language translations. In addition to the exhibition, the centre boasts a 189-seat performing arts space, education and learning spaces, a café, shop and an annex for community use. There is furthermore a library containing a substantial selection of books from Seamus Heaney’s home, including biographies, works of fiction and the work of other poets. Located in his childhood village, visitors will be offered a chance to see the surrounding which inspired the poet’s creativity. The HomePlace itself is fusion of both past and present, blending allusions to the author’s history as well as modern architecture and including a platform which provides an elevated view of the stunning Irish countryside. Heaney’s daughter, Catherine Ann says that “it has been rewarding for our family to see this project take shape, from its early stages through to the launch. We hope that HomePlace will become a hub for the local community and a destination for visitors from further afield, and that, for everyone, it will illuminate the poems and bring them to life.”
For more information, visit the HomePlace’s site at http://www.seamusheaneyhome.com