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Queen’s announces Stacey Gregg, Lisa O’Neill, and David Park as Seamus Heaney Fellows for 2023-24.

The Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast has announced the appointments of Stacey Gregg, Lisa O’Neill, and David Park as the Seamus Heaney Centre Fellows for 2023-24.

Each year, the Seamus Heaney Centre announces three Fellows from the worlds of Poetry, Fiction, Music, Film and Television to explore creative writing in all its forms by working with students and contributing to the Centre’s activities within the University and the wider literary community.

Stacey Gregg is a writer, director and performer for stage and screen. Recent screen work includes BallywalterThe Baby (Sky/HBO), and Here Before which premiered at SXSW and won Best Film at Galway Film Fleadh. For stage Gregg co-directed Inside Bitch for the Royal Court Theatre and Clean Break working with women in the criminal justice system, and wrote and performed Hatchet Jinny for Outburst Queer Arts Festival. Gregg’s work is often interdisciplinary and politically charged. Gregg has written extensively for television. Plays are published by Nick Hern Books and Bloomsbury, and their award winning work has toured internationally. Gregg is currently writing a fourth play for The Abbey Theatre, in development for her second feature film with BBC Film, and writing a limited TV series based on the diaries of Patricia Highsmith.

Speaking about the appointment, Stacey said: "Absolutely buzzing to be invited to be a Seamus Heaney Fellow and part of such great creative company. What an honour to get to meet and work with the students. The collision of ideas, processes and discussion is the engine of the creative life, but also such a joy. I can't wait to get started."

Lisa O’Neill is one of the most evocative songwriters in contemporary Irish music today. With five BBC Folk Awards nominations and a designation by the Guardian as Folk Album of the Year in 2019. O’Neill’s collections include Heard a Long Song Gone for the River Lea imprint (2018), The Wren EP (2019), and an adaptation of Bob Dylan’s All the Tired Horses for the final scene of TV drama Peaky Blinders. Her latest album is All Of This Is Chance for Rough Trade (Feb 2023) is full of orchestral masterpieces like the ambitious and cinematic Old Note, and the title track inspired by the great Monaghan writer Patrick Kavanagh's epic poem The Great Hunger, as well as stirring meditations on nature, birds, berries, bees, and blood.

Lisa said: ‘It is a great honour to be offered the Seamus Heaney Fellowship and I accept with open heart and open mind. I have always been drawn to this part of the country. Among many curiosities, I want to learn more about shipbuilding in Belfast and about how it earned its name globally as the Linenopolis city. My ancestors moved from Belfast to Cavan after WW1 and I very much look forward walking its roads, following my questions and my nose and to dream "where Lagan stream sings lullaby”.’

David Park is the author of ten novels, a novella and two collections of short stories. His first novel The Healing (Jonathan Cape, 1992) won the Authors’ Club First Novel Award. The Truth Commissioner (Bloomsbury, 2008) was awarded the Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize and adapted for film; The Light of Amsterdam (Bloomsbury, 2012) was shortlisted for the IMPAC Prize and The Poets’ Wives (Bloomsbury, 2014) was Belfast’s One City One Book.  He has received a Major Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the American Ireland Fund Literary Award. His novel Travelling in a Strange Land won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2018 and was longlisted for The International Dublin Literary Award. He has been shortlisted four times for the Irish Novel of the year and longlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Competition. His most recent work, Spies in Canaan was runner up in the Gordon Bowker Prize, an award for a novel focusing on travel. His work has featured on BBC Radio 4, both as short stories and twice as the Book at Bedtime. His work is published widely in translation.

David commented: “The poetry of Seamus Heaney has been an enriching presence throughout my life and it is a privilege to take up this fellowship. I look forward to both sharing and learning in the Centre and also to seeing the magnolias in University Square in full blossom once more.”

Welcoming the new appointments, Professor Glenn Patterson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s, said: ”I am delighted to be able to announce Stacey, Lisa and David as our Seamus Heaney Fellows for 2024. It will be an honour indeed to have three such remarkable and distinctive writers with us.  

“The arrival of the Fellows has become a highlight of the Heaney Centre calendar and this year, as every year, not just our own students but the wider community will benefit tremendously from their experience and globally recognised excellence. We look forward very much to welcoming Stacey Lisa and David in the New Year.” 

Last year’s Seamus Heaney Centre Fellows were Roddy Doyle, Kae Tempest, and Conor Mitchell. Previous Fellows have included musicians Iain Archer, Duke Special, and Tim Wheeler; novelists Marian Keyes, Anna Burns and Wendy Erskine; poets Vahni Capildeo, Doireann Ni Ghriofa and Denise Riley; and play-wrights and screenwriters Enda Walsh, Lisa McGee and Jed Mercurio.

The new Fellows will officially take up their posts in the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s in the new year.


 Notes to Editor:  

  1. The new Fellows are available for interview. Requests to Queen’s Communications Office on  

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