Rush to buy tickets for Seamus Heaney night at Southbank

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All 2,500 tickets have already been sold for a celebration of the life and work of Seamus Heaney with poetry, music, film, anecdote and appreciation at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank on 20 November. The programme will be hosted by Andrew O'Hagan with music from the master uilleann piper Liam O'Flynn and cellist Neil Martin; Ian Bostridge with Julius Drake; and the Chieftains. Heaney's poetry will be read by Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy, Charlotte Higgins, Michael Longley, Paula Meehan, Paul Muldoon, Tom Paulin, Ruth Negga, Edna O'Brien, Bernard O'Donoghue and Christopher Reid.

A poem by Seamus Heaney, written two months before he died, has been published as part of a memorial anthology marking next year’s centenary of the outbreak of the first world war. Heaney’s ‘In A Field’ was inspired by Edward Thomas’s ‘As the team’s head-brass’, a poem apparently about rural life but overshadowed by world events. Thomas was killed at the front in 1917. Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy invited other poets, including Simon Armitage, Helen Dunmore, Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon, Blake Morrison, Daljit Nagra, Jackie Kay, Andrew Motion and Gillian Clarke, to respond to the poetry, letters, and diary entries from the trenches and the home front. You can read some of the poems, published in the Guardian here

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