Until his untimely death in June 2014, Dermot Healy was frequently regarded as ‘Ireland’s greatest living writer’. In a documentary devoted to Healy’s work in 2011, the late Seamus Heaney hailed him as the poetic heir to Patrick Kavanagh: ‘Kavanagh was the poet of, as he said, “the passionate transitory”, bits and pieces of the everyday snatched out of time. He was the poet of praise for those things. It isn’t just nature poetry, it’s gratitude for the whole gift of existence in Healy’. Outside of Ireland, Healy is probably better known as a novelist, but he was also a playwright, screenwriter, actor, editor, and all-round literary enabler. This talk will present an overview of Dermot Healy’s work, focussing on the importance of time, memory and place in his eclectic oeuvre.
Presented in association with the Centre for Irish Studies, St Mary’s University, Twickenham:
Dr Keith Hopper
Dr Keith Hopper teaches Literature and Film Studies for Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education, and is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Irish Studies at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He is the author of Flann O’Brien: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Post-modernist (revised edition 2009), general editor of the twelve-volume Ireland into Film series (2001–2007), and co-editor of The Short Fiction of Flann O’Brien (2013). He is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, and is currently completing a book on the writer and filmmaker Neil Jordan. Forthcoming publications include co-editing a series of four books by and about the late Dermot Healy (Dalkey Archive Press, 2015).