O’Driscoll raises the matter of the many conferences, launches, conferrings and other public events in which Heaney participates. 'Ongoing civic service, I suppose,' Heaney responds. The grace and patience with which he handles such demands on his time and energy point to another aspect of the poetic vocation as he conceives it. Life has been good to him in many ways; poetry has enriched his existence both privately and in the social and intellectual worlds it has opened up to him. In return, though under no obligation to roll up his shirtsleeves and take part in the meitheal, Heaney performs his neighbourly duty as few in his position would.
Elsewhere, John McAuliffe reviews Austin Clarke's Collected Poems, and there are plenty of other interesting articles.