Rand Brandes


  • Ph.D., M.A., English Language and Literature/Letters, Emory University
  • B.A., English Language and Literature/Letters, Hanover College

Rand Brandes has served as a Martin Luther Stevens Professor of English at LR for more than 20 years. He is director of both the LR Visiting Writers Series and Lineberger Center, which sponsors the Lineberger Fellows program.

Brandes has been instrumental in the research and preservation of the work of Seamus Heaney, Irish Nobel Laureate and renowned writer and poet. He began researching Heaney’s work in the early 1980s and spent 12 years writing Seamus Heaney: A Bibliography 1959-2003.

He has also written numerous articles, reviews and books about modern Irish and British poetry. Additionally, Brandes has served as a co-curator of the exhibition entitled “Seamus Heaney: A Life Well Lived,” an exhibition of Heaney’s work at the Grolier Club in Manhattan.

Prior to Heaney’s death in 2013, Brandes received two Fulbright Senior Research Fellowships to assist Heaney in Ireland and worked closely with him for more than 30 years. He also received grants from The Lannan Foundation and The Worldwide Ireland Funds in support of his efforts.

In 2003, he received the Roediger Distinguished Service Professorship, designated annually by the president to recognize distinguished service to the university, profession and community. In 2004, Brandes received the Lenoir-Rhyne Faculty Scholar Award, which is presented to the faculty member who has made the greatest contribution to his/her discipline during the academic year.  

Rand is a member of the LR Servus Universitas Society. He was inaugurated in 2016 as a notable way of honoring employees who have dedicated the better part of their lives to serve the mission of LR and make it a better place for those who come after them. To be a member of this society, a Lenoir-Rhyne employee must reach at least 25 years of continuous, full-time service. Of literally thousands of individuals who have been employed by the university, fewer than 150 have reached this milestone.