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The Annual Seamus Heaney Lecture 2023, organised by the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, in association with The Estate of Seamus Heaney, will be delivered by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, acclaimed astrophysicist from Northern Ireland, past president of the Royal Astronomical Society and past president of the Institute of Physics.
The evening will open with a reading of Seamus Heaney poems by Liverpool-born actor Paul McGann (Withnail and I, Doctor Who) and will conclude with refreshments.
Seamus Heaney was born and raised in County Derry. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966 and was followed by poetry, translations and criticism which established him as one of the leading poets of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past”.
Seamus Heaney died in 2013.Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland. She was responsible for the discovery of pulsars while a radio astronomy graduate student in Cambridge and has subsequently worked in gamma ray, X-ray, infrared and millimetre wavelength astronomy.
She currently holds a Professorial Fellowship in Mansfield College, University of Oxford, and is a Visiting Academic in the University's Department of Physics.
She was president of the Royal Astronomical Society (2002 - 2004) and president of the Institute of Physics (2008 - 2010).In 2008 she edited, with Maurice Riordan, the poetry anthology Dark Matter: Poems of Space, which includes commissioned works by leading poets inspired by their discussions with eminent space scientists.
Paul McGann was born in Liverpool in 1959 and trained at RADA.TV work includes: The Monocled Mutineer; Our Mutual Friend; Doctor Who (BBC); The One That Got Away (ITV)Film: Withnail And I (Handmade); Alien 3 (Fox); Gypo (Medb Films/BBC)Stage: The Forest (Hampstead); Helen (Globe); Butley (Duchess); Gabriel (Richmond)