Irish poet Seamus Heaney in 2010. Paul McErlane /EPA/Landov hide caption toggle caption Paul McErlane /EPA/Landov The Two-Way Irish Poet Seamus Heaney Dies August 30, 2013 Called by some the best Irish poet since Yeats, Heaney was 74. He was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. Heaney once told NPR that poems are "stepping stones in one's own sense of oneself. ... You have to conjure the next stepping stone because the stream, we hope, keeps flowing."