Writers’ rooms: Seamus Heaney 

The desk surface is a slab of board on two filing cabinets, but when we first moved in 30 years ago, it consisted of two planks that had served as bench seats in a lecture hall in Carysfort College - oak whose grain had been polished by the soft shiftings of a century of student schoolmistresses.

I liked to think there was much virtuous concentration stored in that timber, but I also liked the makeshift nature of the arrangement. I always had a superstitious fear of setting up a too well-designed writing place and then finding that the writing had absconded.

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