Soft Cover. Belfast: Festival Publications, 1965. 1st Edition. Near Fine.
First edition, first issue, with a nine-pointed purple sun illustration to the front cover, printed on laid watermarked paper. Original publisher's wrappers. An excellent copy, with a short closed tear to the spine head, light creasing to the front wrapper, some minor soiling to the wrappers, light pencil marking to the first poem, otherwise bright and clean pages. Overall, a near fine copy of an extremely scarce title, the author's first printed publication. Brandes & Durkan A1a. Housed in a custom box. Eleven Poems is Heaney's first published book of poetry, published privately by Festival Publications at the Queen's University of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Heaney attended Queen's University of Belfast as an undergraduate and graduate student, where he studied English literature and wrote poetry. After graduating, Heaney became associated with a group of young Belfast poets known as "The Group," an organization assembled by Queen's University lecturer Philip Hobsbaum. During this time, Heaney's poetry was being published by The Belfast Telegraph and The Irish Times. Fittingly, Heaney, who would come to be hailed as the greatest Irish poet since Yeats, and whose poetry is given "its distinctive strength" by "the acute observation of the [Irish] countryside and its people," released his first collection locally. Eleven Poems advertises the 1966 publication of Heaney's first major work Death of Naturalist by Faber and Faber, which would begin Heaney's long career of publishing award-winning poetry.