5 Fosterage

For Michael McLaverty In Ancient Ireland young aspirants were fostered to other members of the clan for their education. Heaney recounts his earliest encounter with the Headmaster, coincidentally one of Ireland’s finest short-story writers, who took him on as a trainee teacher. Michael McLaverty fitted the ‘fosterage’ bill perfectly via the experience he offered a modest ‘rookie’ searching for both poetic voice and career. A quotation from Wallace Stevens extolling the use of description in creative writing (Heaney will follow his tip in this very piece), a timing (Heaney was 23 and recently graduated with a First Class degree in English from Queen’s University Belfast – newly cubbed in language), a meeting place in the smart administrative centre of the […]