While guest lecturer at Berkeley, Seamus Heaney made a brief visit to Vancouver in 1971 to give a reading sponsored by UBC. He was second on the bill to Rainer Schulte and not that well known at the time.

As Seamus and UBC professor George McWhirter had been at university in Belfast together, he stayed with the McWhirters in a rental house at 4659 West 8th Avenue in Vancouver. "A father of two wee boys," recalls Angela McWhirter, "Seamus was a wonderful houseguest and not perturbed when our youngest leaned out of his high chair and chucked up by Seamus's dinner plate. Earlier that year, Marie, his wife had been mugged in Berkeley, and I remember him being anxious about his family in California and getting back home to Ireland."

[BCBW 2009] "Famous Visitor"