The Lannan Foundation and The Worldwide Ireland Funds have awarded Dr. Rand Brandes, Martin Luther Stevens Professor of English at Lenoir-Rhyne University, grants in support of his work on Irish Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney. He will use the highly competitive grants to help sustain his long-term project of preserving the literary papers of the widely renowned writer and poet.
Dr. Brandes began researching Heaney’s work in the early 1980’s and spent 12 years writing –Seamus Heaney: A Bibliography 1959-2003. He has also written numerous articles, reviews and books about the poet, the most recent of which is a Lenoir-Rhyne University publication highlighting an exhibition of Heaney’s work at the Grolier Club in Manhattan. Dr. Brandes served as a co-curator of the exhibition, entitled Seamus Heaney: A Life Well Lived. He received two Fulbright Senior Research Fellowships to assist Heaney in Ireland, and worked closely with him for over 30 years.
In the fall of this year, Dr. Brandes will return to Dublin to help the Heaney family inventory and organize Heaney’s estate. Much of the material in his office has been untouched and Dr. Brandes hopes an editorial opportunity will arise from the project.
Lannan Foundation Executive Director, J. Patrick Lannan, says of Dr. Brandes’ project: “The Lannan Foundation, where we were privileged to have had a long personal relationship with Seamus Heaney and his wife Marie, is honored to provide financial support to Professor Brandes as he archives all of the great poet's personal papers. In our humble opinion, Seamus Heaney was a most generous human being, an extraordinary teacher and the most expansive and gifted poet of his generation."
Dr. Brandes has served as a professor at LRU for 26 years. He is Director of both the LRU Visiting Writers Series and Lineberger Center as well as the coordinator of the Masters of Liberal Studies Program. Dr. Brandes received his Ph.D. and master’s degree in English at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He completed his undergraduate education at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana.
The Lannan Foundation, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a family foundation dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired Native activists in rural indigenous communities.
The Worldwide Ireland Funds are a philanthropic network that supports worthy causes in Ireland and around the world. The Funds’ mission is to be the largest network of friends of Ireland dedicated to supporting programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland. Founded in 1976, The Worldwide Ireland Funds currently operate in 12 countries and have raised over $480 million for over 3,000 outstanding organizations.