Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 March 2021
Shortly after publishing three poems in the New Statesman in 1964, Seamus Heaney received a letter from Charles Monteith, poetry editor of the prestigious London publishing house Faber and Faber, which he later said ‘was like getting mail from the Almighty God’. Heaney went on to publish not only with Faber, but also with numerous small presses, foremost among them the Gallery Press in Ireland. Concentrating on the publication of Heaney’s poetry in book form, from Death of a Naturalist (Faber, 1966) to The Last Walk (Gallery, 2013), this chapter considers how the poet’s self-reflexive engagement with print both expressed and furthered his faith in literature. This consideration pairs attention to Heaney’s metaphors for publication, including in such poems as ‘Broagh’ and ‘The Bookcase’, with a few striking instances of the material forms his work has taken.