Home » Warren-Brooks Award: Dr. Richard Russell

Warren-Brooks Award: Dr. Richard Russell

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Dr. Richard Russell

Thursday, April 23 at 4:00 pm, Dr. Richard Russell will be giving a presentation about his book “Seamus Heaney’s Regions“. Dr. Russell is an English professor and the Graduate Program Director at Baylor University. He is also the director of the Beall Poetry Festival: a three day celebration of contemporary poets. (Go check it out!)

The Robert Penn Warren-Cleanth Brooks Award is an honor given to those who have an outstanding work of literary scholarship or criticism published within the year. It recognizes work that employs in a significant way the methods associated with “close reading” texts. That’s exactly what Dr. Russell’s “Seamus Heaney’s Regions” does with Seamus Heaney’s poems.

Poet Seamus Heaney won the Nobel Prize back in 1995 for his lyrical beauty and ethical depth in his poems, often inspired by his home region of Northern Ireland. Dr. Russell felt that the poetry Heaney created had potential resolutions to the conflicts that had troubled Northern Ireland for many years. Heaney was a big believer in ideas and his poetry reflected that. The book explored Heaney’s work from before his first published poetry volume, Death of a Naturalist(’66), to his most recent volume, the elegiac Human Chain (’10).

Dr. Russell’s contribution to the study of Heaney’s work has been praised by many including Wadham College, Oxford; The College of William and Mary; and Durham University.

So if you’re interested in learning more about the Warren-Brooks award, Heaney’s poetry, or Dr. Russell himself, you should come out on Thursday and sit in on the presentation, held in the RPW Room in Cherry Hall!

One Response to “Warren-Brooks Award: Dr. Richard Russell”

  1. Keith Epley says:

    A thoroughly enjoyable analysis of Heaney’s poetry, one that encourages me to go back to Heaney from so many years past where I had immersed myself in all things Irish, starting with Joyce. Though I have read several books of Heaney’s poetry, I was unfamiliar with the poem “Strange Fruit,” where Russell reveals a strong and clear connection to the Billie Holiday song of the same name. (I always thought the author was Allan Lewis, so was puzzled when Dr. Russell pointed out it was Abel Meeropol. Went back and did my research, found that Allan Lewis was Meeropol’s pen name. This is just one more reason to appreciate Dr. Russell’s scholarship.) The Robert Penn Warren Society always winnows the chaff from the wheat, and their selection of Russell is no exception. Somebody’s book on Heaney’s poetry is going in my AMAZON cart!

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