• What Do We Mean When We Say “Belfast Group”?

    Author(s):
    Brian Croxall (see profile) , Rebecca Sutton Koeser (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    Digital Humanists
    Subject(s):
    Digital humanities, Irish literature, Network analysis
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Belfast Group
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/4y30-th10
    Abstract:
    In creating a project to investigate the relationships among members of the Belfast Group, it is important to know exactly what that Group is. Being specific about this when creating our data was critical so we could accurately measure who was connected to this thing we call “the Belfast Group.” But, as often happens with humanities data, it turns out that things are a little messy. In this case, while the term originally refers to the writing workshop begun by Philip Hobsbaum, many critics and commentators have also used it to refer to the idea of a Belfast “school” of poets (see Clark 1, 6). Many members of this supposed school—Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley, among others—were, of course, participants in the writing workshop, which adds to the slippage between the two uses. But while it is demonstrably true that a writing workshop existed, it is less clear whether there was any unified purpose that might constitute a school; as Norman Dugdale put it, the “The Group had no manifesto, no corporate identity, no programme beyond providing a forum in which writers [...] could produce their wares and have them discussed” (Dugdale et al. 54). For the purposes of this site, then, when we speak of the “Belfast Group,” we mean the weekly writing workshop founded by Hobsbaum and continued by Seamus and Marie Heaney, along with Michael Allen and Arthur Terry.
    Notes:
    This essay was peer reviewed by Geraldine Higgins and Nathan Suhr-Sytsma.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Online publication    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    Attribution
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