Lowell Lecture

Fintan O’Toole: “Political Heaney”

Date & Time

Nov. 16, 2023 at 7 p.m.


Boston College - Gasson 100
140 Commonwealth Avenue Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Driving Directions


Fintan O'Toole

Presenting Organization

Boston College


Current Affairs


Avner Goldstein (avner.goldstein@bc.edu, )

Fintan O’Toole, one of Ireland’s leading public intellectuals, is a columnist for The Irish Times and Leonard L. Milberg ’53 visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University. He also contributes to The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, Granta, The Guardian, The Observer, and other international publications. His books on theater include works on William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Thomas Murphy. His books on politics include the bestsellers We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland; Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain; Ship of Fools; and Enough is Enough. In 2011, The Observer named O’Toole one of “Britain’s top 300 intellectuals.” He has received the A.T. Cross Award for Supreme Contribution to Irish Journalism, the Millennium Social Inclusion Award, the Journalist of the Year award from TV3 Studios in 2010, the Orwell Prize, the European Press Prize, and he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in the spring of 2023. In 2021, he published the #1 bestseller We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland, which won the Book of the Year Award at the Irish Book Awards and was selected for the New York Times's “10 Best Books of 2022.” O’Toole’s History of Ireland in 100 Objects, which covers 100 highly charged artifacts from the last 10,000 years, is currently the basis for Ireland’s postage stamps. He has recently been appointed official biographer of Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney.

This Lowell lecture will herald the opening of Seamus Heaney’s Afterlives, Boston College’s international symposium marking the tenth anniversary of the poet’s death.

Cosponsored by the Boston College Irish Studies Program and with the support of an ILA Major Grant.