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Louis MacNeice Centenary Conference and Celebration


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Queen's University, Derek Mahon, Corinna MacNeice, Christ Church Carrowdore, Seamus Heaney, Bookstall, Peter McDonald, Michael Longley, MacNeice's grave Carrowdore
Queen's University, Belfast

Louis MacNeice Centenary Conference & Celebration Programme

Read the full programme, with links to all the different events.

Born in Brookhill Street, Belfast on September 12th, 1907 and raised in Carrickfergus, Louis MacNeice is one of the defining figures of modern Northern Irish poetry, an abiding presence for generations of writers. MacNeice lived most of his adult life in England, attending college Oxford, working for the BBC, and was a central figure in modern poetry, shaping and transforming the poetic landscape in the English language. His connections to Northern Ireland also remained strong throughout his life, and indeed afterwards - MacNeice is buried in Carrowdore churchyard, and it is in Northern Ireland that his legacy is felt most keenly.

To mark the centenary MacNeice's birth, and to honour his importance and brilliance as a poet, the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry hosted a celebration and conference between the 12th and the 15th of September 2007. Among the highlights of the conference were featured talks by leading scholars - including Jon Stallworthy, Peter McDonald, Terence Brown and Clair Wills - about MacNeice's work, his times and his influence, readings by poets including Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Paul Muldoon and Medbh McGuckian, and poets discussing their relationship with MacNeice and his poetry.

To hear some of the talks and readings, or to access the programme for the conference, photo galleries and abstracts of all the papers given, click on the links below. For an introduction to MacNeice's work and his importance to modern poetry, read an article by Professor Emerita Edna Longley - Going with MacNeice's Flow, or read some comments about MacNeice by some leading poets and critics.


The 'Irish Patrimonies' Parallel Session

Parallel Sessions

Read abstracts of all the papers given in the parallel sessions

Queen's University Quadrangle


Photo Galleries

See photos from the conference

Peter McDonald, giving the first BBC MacNeice Memorial Lecture

Plenary Talks

Listen to all the plenary talks from the conference.

Derek Mahon

Poetry Readings

Listen to excerpts from all three poetry readings associated with the MacNeice centenary.

Simon Armitage

Poets' Panels

Listen to different poets talking about their relationship with Louis MacNeice