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Hearth Language: From Aftergrass to Yellow Boots

Tel: 028 7938 7444

‘bedding the locale

in the utterance,

reed music, an old chanter

breathing its mists

through vowels and history’                       ‘Gifts of Rain’, Seamus Heaney

Wintering Out saw Seamus Heaney embrace the language and dialect of his home place and incorporate it within his poetry. For generations, the English spoken in his South Derry homeland has been uniquely influenced by Irish, Scots Gaelic, Lowland Scots, Anglo Saxon and Elizabethan English. Poet and educator Maura Johnston’s new book From Aftergrass to Yellow Boots is a timely and fascinating glossary of the ‘hearth language’ used in Heaney’s work. Join her in conversation with writer Bernie McGill to explore how her book enriches the reading experience of Heaney’s poetry and also helps to preserve the wondrous dialect from which he derived so much inspiration.

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