Michael Longley

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Michael Longley, CBE (born 27 July 1939) is a poet from Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Life and career[edit]

Michael Longley reading his poetry at the Corrymeela Peace Center in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland, July 2012.

Born at Belfast, Longley was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and subsequently read Classics at Trinity College, Dublin, where he edited Icarus.

He was Professor of Poetry for Ireland from 2007 to 2010, a cross-border academic post set up in 1998, previously held by John Montague, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Paul Durcan. He was succeeded in 2010 by Harry Clifton.[1]

North American editions of Longley's work are published by Wake Forest University Press.

His wife, Edna Longley, is a critic on modern Irish and British poetry.[2] They have three children.

An atheist, he describes himself as a "sentimental" disbeliever.[3]

On 14 January 2014, Longley participated in the BBC Radio 3 series "The Essay - Letters to a Young Poet". Taking Rainer Maria Rilke's classic text, Letters to a Young Poet as inspiration, leading poets wrote a letter to a protege.[4]


Awards and honours[edit]

Gorse Fires (1991) won the Whitbread Poetry Prize. The Weather in Japan (2000) won the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Hawthornden Prize.

He holds honorary doctorates from Queen's University Belfast (1995) and Trinity College, Dublin (1999) and was the 2001 recipient of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Longley was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.[5]

He won a 2011 London Awards for Art and Performance. His collection, A Hundred Doors, won the Poetry Now Award in September 2012.[6]

List of works[edit]

Michael Longley reading his poetry at the Corrymeela Peace Center in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland, July 2012.
  • Ten Poems (1965)
  • Secret Marriages: Nine Short Poems (1968)
  • No Continuing City (1969)
  • Lares (1972)
  • An Exploded View (1973)
  • Fishing in the Sky: Love Poems (1975)
  • Man Lying on a Wall (1976)
  • The Echo Gate (1979)
  • Patchwork (1981)
  • Poems 1963-1983 (1985)
  • Poems 1963-1980 (1981)
  • Gorse Fires (1991)
  • Baucis and Philemon: After Ovid (1993)
  • Birds and Flowers: Poems (1994)
  • Tuppeny Stung: Autobiographical Chapters (1994)
  • The Ghost Orchid (1995)
  • Ship of the Wind (1997)
  • Broken Dishes (1998)
  • Selected Poems (1998)
  • The Weather in Japan (2000)
  • Snow Water (2004)
  • Collected Poems (2006)
  • A Hundred Doors (2011)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Allen, Michael, ed. Options: The Poetry of Michael Longley, Éire-Ireland 10.4 (1975): pp. 129–35.
  • Allen Randolph, Jody. "Michael Longley, February 2010." Close to the Next Moment: Interviews from a Changing Ireland. Manchester: Carcanet, 2010.
  • Allen Randolph, Jody and Douglas Archibald, eds. Special Issue on Michael Longley. Colby Quarterly 39.3 (September 2003).
  • Brearton, Fran. Reading Michael Longley. Bloodaxe, 2006.
  • Clyde, Tom, ed. Special Issue on Michael Longley. Honest Ulsterman 110 (Summer 2001).
  • Peacock, Alan J. and Kathleen Devine, eds. The Poetry of Michael Longley: Ulster Editions and Monographs 10, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 2000.
  • Robertson, Robin, ed. Love Poet, Carpenter: Michael Longley at Seventy. London: Enitharmon Press, 2009.
  • Russell, Richard Rankin. Poetry and Peace: Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney, and Northern Ireland. South Bend: Notre Dame UP, 2010.

External links[edit]