Professor Michael Longley

Born in Belfast in 1939, he was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Trinity College Dublin.  He worked as a teacher, and served as Director of Literature and Traditional Arts for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland from 1970 to 1991 and holds honorary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast (1995) and Trinity College Dublin (1999). His books of poetry include No Continuing City (1969), An Exploded View (1973), Man lying on a Wall (1976), The Echo Gate (1979), The Ghost Orchid (1995), which was short-listed for the T.S. Eliot Award. Gorse Fires won the Whitbread Poetry Prize in 1991, and The Weather in Japan won the Irish Times Literature Prize for Poetry, the Hawthornden Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2001. More recent publications include Snow Water (2004) and Collected Poems (2007). He published an autobiographical work, Tuppeny Stung, in 1994, and has edited selections of poems by Louis MacNeice and W.R. Rodgers.

Other awards include the Irish-American Cultural Institute Award and the Eric Gregory Award, which he shared with Derek Mahon in 1965. In 2001 he was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a member of Aosdána and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was Ireland’s Professor of Poetry, 2007-2010.


Selected Poems


The Linen Industry, Ceasefire, The Leveret from Collected Poems (2007) by Michael Longley published by Jonathan Cape.  Used by permission of The Random House Group Limited: