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February 27, 2006 - For nine years, the Contemporary Writers Series (CWS) at Aquinas College has brought over 30 prestigious poets and writers to campus to read their work and interact with students, faculty and the West Michigan community. That legacy will be enhanced on Wednesday, May 10 when Seamus Heaney, acclaimed Irish poet and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, comes to Aquinas during a limited American reading tour. Heaney will be appearing at only ten venues nationwide, so his reading at Aquinas will be a rare opportunity to see and hear a literary master. Heaney's reading, at 7:30 p.m. in the Wege Student Center Ballroom, is free and the public is welcome. Seating will be on a first come-first served basis. This singular event is made possible through a generous grant from Deborah Meijer's Rimbaud Fund at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Heaney is one of the most significant writers in the world. Born in Northern Ireland in 1939, Heaney writes poetry that is remarkable for its clarity, craft, exuberance and metaphorical intensity. He is often hailed as the most important Irish poet since W. B. Yeats. His books of poetry, criticism and translations include "Door into the Dark," "North," "Field Work," "Sweeney Astray," and "Station Island." He has received numerous awards for his work including the ultimate accolade - the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995.

Seamus Heaney's reading will conclude the 2005-06 season which featured such noted writers as Betsy Sholl, Dinty Moore, Stuart Dybek and on Thursday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m., Sven Birkerts. With such literary luminaries coming to Aquinas, Deborah Meijer hopes that others will join her as a Friend of the Contemporary Writers Series. For more information about the Friends, contact Bill Weitzel, Director of Planned Giving (616) 632-2820. For general information about Seamus Heaney's reading, contact the CWS Director, Pamela Luebke at (616) 632-2127. All readings take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Wege Student Center Ballroom at Aquinas College.