Poetic DistinctionGAMBIER, Ohio (October 14, 2004) Seamus Heaney, one of the world's best-known poets and translators, has been named the winner of the 2004 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. The announcement was made by David Lynn, editor of The Kenyon Review and professor of English at Kenyon, on behalf of the Review's Board of Trustees.
Heaney is famed for poetry that melds the personal with the social, joining a particular place and moment to the longer sweep of history. Among his most notable translations is 2000's Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, celebrated in the New York Times Book Review as "a faithful rendering that is simultaneously an original and gripping poem in its own right." Heaney is also noted as a prose stylist, with several collections of essays to his credit. A native of Northern Ireland who now makes his home in the Irish Republic, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995.
The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement will be presented to Heaney at a gala dinner on Tuesday, November 9, at Restaurant Daniel in New York City. Numerous members of the literary community and other luminaries are expected to be on hand, including past winners of the award.
Proceeds from the dinner, and from its accompanying live and silent auctions, will benefit the Kenyon Review's endowment.
The November event will mark the third presentation of the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. The award was first presented in 2002 to acclaimed novelist E.L. Doctorow, Class of 1952, known for such works as The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, and Loon Lake. Last year, the award's second recipient was the prolific novelist and short-story writer Joyce Carol Oates.