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Simon to sing at tribute for poet Heaney

SINGER Paul Simon is to appear at a headline event in Dublin to pay tribute to the late Seamus Heaney.

He will perform at an event in the National Concert Hall later this month which is being organised as part of the One City, One Book celebrations.

This year's book is If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, and Heaney's work features in the anthology.

Celebrating Seamus Heaney is a Dublin City Council and Poetry Ireland event and will feature a stellar line-up of poets and musicians from Ireland and further afield, many of whom had a close connection to the world-renowned poet.

The Nobel Laureate died aged 74 last year and the new anthology about Dublin features two-little seen poems by him.

Paul Simon, who has a huge Irish fan base from albums including Graceland, first met Heaney through their mutual friend, the poet Derek Walcott when he was in the Abbey Theatre in 1991.

In a tribute to Heaney, published in the New York Times last year, Simon said: "I'm a fan even more of the man than the poetry, though there are few poets I would rank as his equal."

Also among those taking part in the event are President Michael D Higgins, poets Paul Muldoon, Paula Meehan, Michael Longley, Medbh McGuckian and, from Lithuania, Tomas Venclova.


Hollywood actor Gabriel Byrne and musicians Liam O'Flynn, Lisa Hannigan, Dónal Lunny, Michéal Ó Súilleabháin, Zoë Conway and Paul Brady are also in the line-up.

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra will also participate. The event, which takes place on April 23, is booked out but owing to demand, 100 seats in the choir balcony were released for sale yesterday morning.

Dublin City librarian Margaret Hayes said the One City, One Book celebrations were running in more than 50 venues in and around Dublin.

She said it was "a perfect opportunity to explore Dublin's libraries and literary landmarks through library-supported poetry readings, talks, concerts and guided tours on foot, by bike, on the water and even on the DART, many of which are free".

Tickets are available from the National Concert Hall website www.nch.ie or their box office on (01) 417 0000 and cost €15 each.