Development & Alumni Relations Office 


12 November 2018

Queen’s University has announced musician Iain Archer, author Lucy Caldwell and stage and screen writer Lisa McGee as the next Seamus Heaney Fellows.

Each year, the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry 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. The appointments are supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI).

Iain Archer from Bangor, is a Grammy nominated musician who has written and produced for artists such as Snow Patrol, Jake Bugg, Liam Gallagher and James Bay. He has received two Ivor Novello Awards for song writing and composing, and a third nomination. As well as his critically acclaimed solo career, Iain is a member of the band Tired Pony.

Belfast-born Lucy Caldwell is the author of three novels, several stage plays and radio dramas, and a collection of short stories. The editor of the forthcoming anthology Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2019). Lucy has won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Irish Writers’ and Screenwriters’ Guild Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Award (Canada & Europe), and a Major Individual Artist Award from the ACNI.

Lisa McGee is a stage and screen writer. Born in Derry-Londonderry, she studied Drama at Queen's and was writer on attachment with the Royal National Theatre in London in 2006. Her plays include The Heights, Nineteen Ninety Two, and Girls and Dolls, for which she won the Stewart Parker Trust New Playwright Bursary 2007, and Jump, which has been adapted into a film.

Lisa is the acclaimed writer and creator behind the hit Channel 4 sitcom’s London Irish and Derry Girls. She is currently working on writing the second series of Derry Girls.

Welcoming the new appointments, Professor Glenn Patterson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s, said: “We are delighted to this year welcome Iain, Lucy and Lisa to the Seamus Heaney Centre family.

“Each writer demonstrates excellence in their field, as well as an openness to learn from their engagement with students. It is hoped that their time at the Centre will inform their future practice.

“The Fellowships represent a commitment by the Centre to the encouragement and celebration of writing in all its forms and continues the legacy of Seamus Heaney’s work.”

Last year’s inaugural Fellows were the novelist Jo Baker, poet Doireann Ni Ghríofa, and musician Peter Wilson, who performs as Duke Special.

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

Since 2003 the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry has been home to some of the UK and Ireland’s foremost poets, novelists, scriptwriters, and critics, and each year growing their worldwide network of writers and critics. Building on a literary heritage at Queen’s that stretches back to the 1960s Belfast Group, the Centre is dedicated to excellence and innovation in creative writing and poetry criticism.

Media enquiries to Zara McBrearty at Queen’s University Communications Office, tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3259.

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